The White House is joining with 11 East Coast governors to launch the new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership to accelerate the growing offshore wind industry. The partnership will support efforts to provide Americans with cleaner and cheaper energy and create good-paying jobs as well as make investments in new American energy supply chains, manufacturing, shipbuilding and servicing.

As a first step of this partnership, the White House and governors are announcing commitments to collaborate on expanding key elements of the offshore wind supply chain, from manufacturing facilities to port capabilities to workforce development. The administration is also announcing steps to advance a national offshore wind supply chain roadmap and designating offshore wind vessels as vessels of national interest to facilitate more offshore wind construction.

President Biden has set a goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. Since then, the Biden Administration has approved the first large-scale projects, established new wind energy areas, and held record-breaking wind auctions.

These actions have brought in private sector investments to expand an American-made wind energy supply chain. In 2021, investors announced $2.2 billion in new funding, including commitments to develop nine major manufacturing facilities to produce the foundations, towers, cables and blades of offshore wind turbines. Supplier contracts to provide materials and services to offshore wind projects more than doubled. Project labor agreements are helping to grow a diverse union workforce and support training programs.

More opportunities are ahead, including an estimated $109 billion revenue opportunity across the offshore wind supply chain this decade; East Coast governors are laying the groundwork to seize them having already set commitments to procure nearly 40 GW of offshore wind.

The White House and 11 states will work together to build a strong, U.S.-based supply chain for offshore wind, grow a skilled U.S. workforce, and build on work to address important regional matters such as transmission and interconnection, fishing and other ocean co-use issues, and other key priorities. The federal-state partnership will look to expand to the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico as offshore wind energy projects develop in those regions.

As a first step, the Biden Administration and governors are endorsing a set of federal, state and mutual commitments to expand key elements of the supply chain, including manufacturing facilities for offshore wind components, port capabilities, logistics networks needed to install projects, and workforce development to fill good-paying jobs. Working together, federal and state partners will track progress, anticipate future needs, and collaborate on a regional and national basis.

The Department of Energy, along with New York and Maryland, is providing funding to develop a comprehensive offshore wind supply chain roadmap, through a collaboration led by the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium and with partners including the Business Network for Offshore Wind. As part of this effort, in March 2022, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report on supply chain needs, including manufactured components, ports and vessels, to deploy 30 GW by 2030.

Constructing offshore wind projects requires specialized installation vessels, and projections from the National Offshore Wind Supply Chain Roadmap show that U.S. and global vessel supply will need to increase to meet and accelerate offshore wind deployment. The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) is designating offshore wind vessels as Vessels of National Interest for support through the Federal Ship Financing Program, giving these applications priority for review and funding. The program assists the domestic shipbuilding industry, providing support for U.S. shipyards to modernize their facilities, to build and retrofit vessels, and to assist U.S shipowners to cost-effectively obtain domestically produced new vessels.

The new 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; and the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

The federal and state governments jointly commit to work collaboratively to enhance the U.S. domestic manufacturing, logistics, and workforce development network to support the orderly and expeditious development of a robust U.S. offshore wind industry, across both fixed-bottom and floating technologies. The will work together to most effectively address commonly identified high-priority gaps within the offshore wind manufacturing, logistics and workforce network as well as facilitate regional solutions including, where possible, the use of public funds to advance these efforts.

The governments will engage with underserved communities, ocean users, Tribes, local governments and other stakeholders to ensure that supply chain development provides equitable benefits and minimizes any potential adverse impacts.

The state governments commit to explore opportunities to use project solicitations to support domestic content commitments alongside local content commitments in offshore wind procurements, including mechanisms to prioritize manufacturing and logistics commitments that address commonly identified high priority gaps and provide benefits to underserved communities. They will explore opportunities to take regional approaches to advance development of a robust domestic offshore wind manufacturing and logistics network and workforce that is sustainable over the longer term.

The federal government commits to facilitate timely and effective permitting and environmental reviews and advance a pipeline of projects and lease sales that reinforce strong market demand for investment in the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. It will utilize the lease auction process, consistent with applicable law, to incentivize investment in the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The federal government seek to leverage federal funding opportunities to promote a U.S.-based offshore wind supply chain, consistent with applicable law, including by providing appropriate incentives toward the administration’s goal that 40% of overall benefits are directed to disadvantaged communities.

This post appeared first on North American Windpower.

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