US States’ Offshore Wind Plans to Bring USD 109 Billion Opportunity for Supply Chain

The US growing offshore wind industry and several states’ commitment to procuring significant amount of offshore wind capacity by 2030 will bring a USD 109 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the supply chain over the course of the next decade, according to a report from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), an independent project at the University of Delaware.

The USD 109 billion is the amount of total expenditures (TOTEX) SIOW estimates the industry will make through investments in the development, construction, and operational phases in the offshore wind sector.

The study is an updated version of a report released in 2019, which only looked at capital expenditures (CAPEX) and factored in an offshore wind target of 18.5 GW by 2030.

The latest report quantifies the supply chain business opportunities by offshore wind farm component, state, and year through 2030, and takes into account both the US national target of 30 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030 and several states’ offshore wind procurement plans that amount to 32 GW.

For the considered build-out capacity of 32 GW, the report has looked at the anticipated state offshore wind power procurements this decade: New Jersey 7,558 MW, New York 9,314 MW, Massachusetts 5,604 MW, Connecticut 2,108 MW, Rhode Island 1,000 MW, Maryland 1,568 MW, Virginia 5,200 MW.

“Taken together, these state commitments amount to 32,062 MW of offshore wind power and represent a total investment of nearly $109 billion that will require a significant number of suppliers from many states around the country”, the report says.

States that have targets for offshore development but do not yet have procurements mandates, such as North Carolina, California, and Maine, were not included in the analysis.

According to the report, key industry components required to achieve a TOTEX of USD 109 billion of utility-scale build-out of more than 30 GW of capacity by 2030 include:

  • More than 2,057 offshore wind turbines & towers – USD 43.9 billion
  • More than 2,110 offshore turbine & substation foundations – USD 17.0 billion
  • More than 8,000 kilometers of export & array cables – USD 12.9 billion
  • More than 53 offshore & onshore substations – USD 10.3 billion
  • Other CAPEX – USD 16.0 billion
  • Development Expenditure (DEVEX) – USD 6.16 billion
  • Operational Expenditure (OPEX) – USD 2.83 billion

SIOW noted that additional public and private expenditures were not captured in the report, including investments in local fabrication facilities and port infrastructure projects, construction of vessels needed specifically for offshore wind construction, grid upgrade costs onshore, interconnection fees, lease acquisition costs, or any operating lease or grid fees.

Furthermore, the estimates only account for the spending associated with the 32 GW of offshore wind development that will take place before 2030. In the years following 2030, there will be a large portion of the OPEX spend continuing as the projects begin to enter operation and some of the CAPEX spend will continue as some of the projects continue their construction, the report states.

Photo: Block Island Wind Farm; Photo source: CRMC (archive)