Biden presents offshore wind reboot plan with 30-GW goal

Offshore wind farm. Photo by: Enersea (www.enersea.nl)

March 30 (Renewables Now) - The administration of US President Biden on Monday unveiled an ambitious plan for the offshore wind industry, calling for the deployment of 30 GW of offshore turbines by 2030.

The roadmap, released by the White House, is intended to support the country’s transition to clean energy and give a major push to the offshore wind sector by triggering more than USD 12 billion (EUR 10.2bn) of investments a year. Reaching 30 GW will unlock a pathway towards a 110 GW target by 2050.

Under the plan, more than 44,000 workers are seen to be employed in this segment by 2030.

As a first step on the agenda, at least 16 Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) will go through a speeded review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) by 2025, which will pave the way for over 19 GW of new capacity. The agency has also announced a notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Ørsted A/S’ (CPH:ORSTED) 1,100-MW Ocean Wind project in New Jersey waters, which is set to become the US’ third utility-scale offshore wind farm.

The BOEM has already completed, quite recently, the environmental reviews for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts and the 132-MW South Fork project near Long Island. It is expected to launch environmental reviews for up to 10 more projects later this year.

To achieve the initial goal, the Biden administration has laid out a proposal for creating a “priority” wind area in the New York Bight, located in shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast, where zones will be leased for offshore turbine installation. A competitive solicitation in line with the plan is due to be held late this year or in early 2022.

The government’s industry-wide plan also includes USD 500 million in investments into port upgrades and additional investment for the construction of one or two turbine component factories and four-to-six turbine installation vessels in US shipyards. As part of the supply chain push, the government will open a USD-230-million funding opportunity for port authorities that will aim to back port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects.

Separately, the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Loan Programs Office will provide access to USD 3 billion in funding that will be disbursed through an Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Programme.

“This offshore wind goal is proof of our commitment to using American ingenuity and might to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security, and combat the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

When operational, the 30 GW of offshore turbines will generate enough power to cover the consumption of over 10 million homes and offset 78 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.850)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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