The Biden Administration on Monday announced a goal of developing 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power United States’ federal waters by 2030, which is expected to create thousands of jobs and require millions of dollars of worth of investments in port infrastructure and U.S.-flag vessels.
National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with industry and government stakeholders Monday to announce new leasing, funding, and goals included in the Administration’s plan.
In his first week in office, President Biden issued an Executive Order to expand opportunities for the offshore wind industry and called for the U.S. to build a new infrastructure and a “clean energy economy” to help create millions of new jobs.
Biden Administration Announces Major Offshore Wind Expansion Plan
According to the White House, achieving the 30 GW target is expected to trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both coasts, creating more than 44,000 offshore wind jobs by 2030. Another nearly 33,000 additional jobs will also be created in communities supported by the activity.
Meanwhile, the The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced a new priority Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight—an 800,000 acre area of shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. The agency will now initiate an environmental review of the area for potential offshore wind leasing.
“Interior is working with agencies across the federal government to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of increasing renewable energy development on federal lands and waters,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis. “Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to making this a reality. The New York Bight can play a central role in fighting climate change, helping states achieve their renewable energy targets and help create thousands of jobs.”
Elsewhere, BOEM intends to pursue new lease sales and complete reviews of at least 16 projects by 2025, representing more than 19 GW of new clean energy for the United States.
According to the White House, investments in the new port upgrades to support offshore wind development are expected to exceed $500 million, and also require the construction of four to six specialized turbine installation vessels at U.S. shipyards, each representing an investment between $250 and $500 million. The plan will also require new U.S. factories, including one to two for each major windfarm component, i.e wind turbine nacelles, blades, towers, foundations, and subsea cables.
To coincide with today’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration has also announced holding a Notice of Funding Opportunity for port authorities and other applicants to apply for $230 million in grants for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The grants will support projects that strengthen and modernize port infrastructure, and can support shore-side wind energy projects, such as storage areas, laydown areas, and docking of wind energy vessels to load and move items to offshore wind farms.
“Our nation’s ports are a key part of our critical infrastructure. They create jobs and make our economy more resilient and sustainable,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “This funding will build upon local investments in infrastructure to deliver long-term economic benefits to American workers and communities, while also addressing climate and equity.”
Looking ahead to 2050, the White House announced it was further aiming to achieve 110 GW of offshore wind power, in turn generating 77,000 offshore wind jobs and more than 57,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity.
More details about the Biden Administration’s plan can be found here.
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