US federal govt kick-starts offshore wind partnership with 11 states

A picture from Cathie Associates visit to the US’ first commercial offshore wind farm; Block Island.

June 24 (Renewables Now) - The Biden Administration on Thursday announced the creation of a new federal-state partnership, starting on the US East Coast, to speed up the development of the offshore wind industry and of a domestic supply chain.

The so-called Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership is a joint effort of the White House National Climate Advisor, the Secretaries of the Interior, Energy, Commerce and Transportation, as well as the governors of the following 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. These states have already set commitments to procure almost 40 GW of offshore wind.

As a first step, the members of this new alliance are endorsing a set of federal, state and mutual commitments to expand crucial elements of the supply chain, including factories for offshore wind components, port capabilities, logistics networks and workforce development. At the same time, the Department of Energy (DOE), along with New York and Maryland, is funding the development of a comprehensive offshore wind supply chain roadmap, while the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) is giving priority for review and funding under the Federal Ship Financing Program to offshore wind vessels.

Eventually, the partnership will seek to expand to the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

“The creation of a Federal-State Offshore Wind Partnership is exactly what our nation needs to create a booming offshore wind industry that will employ many thousands of Americans in new union jobs,” commented Jeff Grybowski, CEO of US Wind Inc.

“Along our coasts, the supply chain is coming to life with new manufacturing facilities, ports being rebuilt, and shipbuilding activity. Offshore wind contracts have more than doubled in the past 18 months and US companies large and small are signing up from 46 states to participate in the offshore wind supply chain,” stated Liz Burdock, CEO and founder of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

The US government is pursuing the goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by the end of the decade. Since taking office, the Biden Administration has approved the Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind projects and has launched the review of an additional 10 schemes for a total of 22 GW. The Department of the Interior (DOI) plans to hold up to seven offshore wind auctions by 2025 and has already held a record-breaking one for the New York Bight that brought USD 4.37 billion (EUR 4.16bn) in winning bids.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.953)

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