US Infrastructure Deal to Spur Creation of National Offshore Wind Industry

The US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on 15 November, will help expedite some of the foundational infrastructure upgrades to ports and electrical grid needed to spur the creation of a US offshore wind industry, said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America.

The Block Island wind farm. Source: Deepwater Wind (archive)

“Reports indicate U.S. offshore wind will create economic opportunity in 44 states. As a U.S. Navy veteran and someone committed to building a domestic offshore wind sector, I know the value American ingenuity offers to growing industries, especially when it draws upon expertise and innovation from the entire country”, David Hardy said, welcoming the signing of the Act.

The new Act will see significant investments across different infrastructure in the country, including the US ports and electric car charging network.

“It is also going to make it possible for Americans to get off the sidelines and into the game of manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries to store energy and power for electric vehicles, including electric school buses, which will mean millions of children will no longer inhale the dangerous diesel fumes that come out of the buses”, said President Biden, who announced the country’s offshore wind target for 2030 last year, which aims at 30 GW of installed capacity and 77,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal represents the most significant long-term investments in American infrastructure and global competitiveness in nearly a century, according to the White House.

Before signing the new Act into law, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the implementation priorities and establishing an Infrastructure Implementation Task Force in which, along with other departments, one of the seats is being held by the Department of Energy, as well as by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Executive Order lays out six main priorities to guide implementation across the Federal government, one of which is building resilient infrastructure that can withstand the impacts of climate change and that helps combat the climate crisis.

The order also prioritises increasing the competitiveness of the US economy, including through implementing the Act’s Made-in-America requirements and bolstering domestic manufacturing and manufacturing supply chains.

As one of its main goals, the Task Force will also make sure public dollars are invested equitably, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which is a Government-wide effort toward a goal that 40 per cent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities.