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Wind turbines off of Block Island

Wind turbines at Orsted's Block Island wind farm off Rhode Island, one of two commercial offshore wind farms in the United States. Credit: PennyJack Creative/Shutterstock

America’s Offshore Wind Capacity Projections Expanding Rapidly, Report Says

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1689
May 5, 2023

The American Clean Power Association (ACP) has released a new report on the rapidly growing offshore wind market in the United States. The report highlights a pipeline of projects across 32 leases, totaling 51.3 gigawatts (GW) of expected capacity, enough to power over 20 million homes.

Offshore wind development is set to create up to 83,000 jobs by 2030, with industry investment contributing up to $25 billion per year in economic output, according to an earlier ACP report in 2020.

In its latest report, the ACP notes that although the US lags behind China and the UK in terms of installed offshore wind capacity, the increasing number of projects in development signals significant progress in a sector. The report emphasizes the crucial role that individual states are playing in driving offshore wind procurement. Ten states have combined offshore wind targets of over 81 GW, with New York and New Jersey leading the way.

The report comes as the Biden Administration is targeting 30 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030.

“The rapid growth in the U.S. offshore wind pipeline reflects strong federal and state government commitment to clean energy expansion and the industry’s response to those goals,” said John Hensley, ACP’s VP of Research & Analytics. “These projects have the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy, provide coastal cities with reliable clean power, and help the U.S. meet its emissions reduction goals.”

The new report also highlights the economic impact of offshore wind on domestic shipbuilding, with over 30 vessels on order or under construction, and the growing domestic supply chain, with fourteen facilities announced or under construction. Despite these encouraging trends, project costs are rising due to supply chain disruptions, commodity price increases, macroeconomic inflationary pressures, and higher interest rates, the report says.

Hensley noted that addressing these challenges is essential to ensure the long-term economic viability of offshore wind projects.

“A strong, collaborative approach between industry stakeholders and government bodies will help us tackle obstacles – like clarifying permitting processes – and realize the full potential of offshore wind as a key component of our clean energy future,” said Hensley.

Overall, the report underscores the critical role that offshore wind can play in creating a sustainable and clean energy system and, despite the challenges, the industry is stepping up to the plate to invest. Furthermore, the increasing number of projects in development signals significant progress.

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