Long-Term US Offshore Wind Targets Increase by 58 Pct in Third Quarter of 2022

The US saw a 58 per cent growth in long-term targets for offshore wind in the third quarter of 2022, a new record for quarterly growth, driven by landmark federal policy, record investments, and new state-level actions, a new report from the Business Network for Offshore Wind found.

Illustration; Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) demo project, first wind turbines in US federal waters; Photo: Dominion Energy

The most important factors behind this growth are the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), federal support to develop a floating wind turbine industry, and ambitious new targets set by coastal states, according to the non-profit’s first U.S. Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report.

“Our inaugural quarterly report could not come at a more exciting time for offshore wind”, said Liz Burdock, President and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “With historic federal funding, new support for floating wind turbine technology, and increasingly ambitious state-level goals, the longstanding aspirations of the American offshore wind industry are poised to become reality”.

New federal investments from the the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes billions of dollars in tax credits for critical offshore wind manufacturing, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, combined with efforts to bring greater transparency to the federal permitting system, underpin the beginnings of a National Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and put the United States in striking position to achieve its goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, the Network says.

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Furthermore, with the Biden Administration announcing a target to deploy 15 GW of floating wind by 2035 and a Floating Offshore Wind Shot initiative aimed at driving down construction costs by at least 70 per cent, the US is taking serious steps to become a key competitor in the floating wind turbine industry, according to the organisation.

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Ambitious new targets were set recently by coastal states, including California, whose waters will house floating wind technology.

According to the Business Network for Offshore wind, while California set the nation’s largest planning goal of 25 GW of floating wind by 2045, East Coast states remain at the forefront of offshore wind commitments, development, and deployment, with notable actions in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island moving the market forward at breakneck speed.

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As reported last month, New Jersey has also increased its offshore wind target, dropping the previously set goal of 7.5 GW by 2035 and replacing this with an ambition to have 11 GW of offshore wind capacity installed by 2040.

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The US industry organisation also said the supply chain development continued at pace, with domestic shipbuilding and port redevelopment seeing gains, but that additional domestic growth was needed to meet the demand for the growing pipeline of projects.

“Despite this tremendous growth, the industry still must overcome challenges to upgrade our grid and transmission system, localize a robust supply chain, and train a skilled workforce. Capitalizing on this momentum requires continued coordinated action from our state and federal government to deploy a comprehensive national offshore wind industrial strategy that includes critical investments in our infrastructure, ports, and manufacturers”, Liz Burdock said.

Earlier this month, the Business Network for Offshore Wind announced a new partnership focused on the offshore wind supply chain.

Namely, the non-profit signed a one-year Offshore Wind Supply Chain Initiative agreement with Vineyard Wind to build out and increase diversity in local offshore wind supply chain.

Under the agreement, which will launch new community outreach initiatives throughout Massachusetts in November 2022, Vineyard Wind is funding the Network’s efforts to deliver its educational training courses designed to help local companies and entrepreneurs learn about the offshore wind industry and how they can expand their business into the local supply chain.

Vineyard Wind is building the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US that reached financial close, Vineyard Wind 1. The wind farm, which entered construction in November last year, will comprise 62 GE Haliade-X 13 MW wind turbines and generate enough electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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