The White House has unveiled a set of actions it is taking that aims to catalyze offshore wind energy, strengthen the domestic supply chain and create good-paying, union jobs.
National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with state officials, industry executives and labor leaders to announce new leasing, funding and goals that employ President Joe Biden’s whole-of-government approach, position the U.S. to lead a clean energy revolution and create thousands of jobs across the country with the choice to join a union.
“This offshore wind goal is proof of our commitment to using U.S. ingenuity and might to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security and combat the climate crisis,” says Granholm. “DOE is going to marshal every resource we have to get as many U.S. companies, using as many sheets of U.S. steel, employing as many U.S. workers as possible in offshore wind energy – driving economic growth from coast to coast.”
In his first week in office, Biden issued an Executive Order that calls on the U.S. to build a new infrastructure and clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs. Biden recognizes that a thriving offshore wind industry will drive new jobs and economic opportunities up and down the Atlantic Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and in Pacific waters. The industry will also spawn new supply chains, as illustrated by the 10,000 tons of domestic steel that workers in Alabama and West Virginia are supplying to a Texas shipyard where Dominion Energy is building the nation’s first Jones Act compliant wind turbine installation vessel.
Federal leadership, in close coordination with states and in partnership with the private sector, unions and other key stakeholders, is needed to catalyze the deployment of offshore wind at scale.
The administration is taking coordinated steps to support rapid offshore wind deployment and job creation:
- Announcing a new wind energy area. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is announcing a new priority wind energy area in the New York Bight – an area of shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast – which a recent study from Wood Mackenzie shows can support up to 25,000 development and construction jobs from 2022 to 2030, as well as an additional 7,000 jobs in communities supported by this development. The study indicates the New York Bight lease area also has the potential to support up to 4,000 operations and maintenance jobs annually and approximately 2,000 community jobs in the years following.
- The Departments of Interior (DOI), Energy (DOE) and Commerce (DOC) announced the shared goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2030 while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity.
- Massive supply chain benefits of deploying offshore wind energy at scale. Meeting the 2030 target will catalyze significant supply chain benefits, including new port upgrade investments totaling more than $500 million; one to two new U.S. factories for each major windfarm component including wind turbine nacelles, blades, towers, foundations and subsea cables; additional cumulative demand of more than 7 million tons of steel – equivalent to 4 years of output for a typical U.S. steel mill; and the construction of four to six specialized turbine installation vessels in U.S. shipyards, each representing an investment between $250 and $500 million.
- Investing in port infrastructure to support offshore wind. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration announced a notice of funding opportunity for port authorities and other applicants to apply for $230 million for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program. Port Infrastructure Development Grants 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
- Access to $3 billion in debt capital to support the offshore wind industry through DOE Loan Programs Office LPO. DOE’s LPO released a fact sheet to facilitate access for the offshore wind industry for $3 billion in funding through LPO’s Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. The fact sheet signals that LPO is open for business and ready to partner with offshore wind and offshore transmission developers, suppliers and other financing partners to scale the U.S. offshore industry and support well-paying jobs. To date, LPO has provided $1.6 billion in support of projects totaling about 1,000 MW of onshore wind
To access the complete text of the White House’s announcement regarding the U.S. offshore wind industry, click here.
This post appeared first on North American Windpower.