Offshore wind is chomping at the bit in the US, with states jockeying to capture manufacturing jobs while developers are chasing leases and offtake deals, delegates heard at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore Windpower conference in New York City this week.
“You can feel the urgency to harness this new ocean energy resource coming from states and businesses competing to be first movers,” AWEA chief executive Tom Kiernan told the conference.
The megawatts on offer are starting to add up, with offshore wind “poised to take off like a rocket in the US”, Innogy US offshore lead Chris Wissemann told reNEWS.
Maryland recently awarded 370MW, while Massachusetts issued a call for 800MW. New York will unveil details of a 2.4GW drive this year and in two weeks there will be an election in New Jersey, where the front-runner for governor is calling for 3.5GW.
“This is a very exciting conference” and a marked contrast to just a few years ago when the industry seemed to be “on life support”, said Wissemann.
New York lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul said the state intends to become the “pre-eminent global hub” for the industry.
“We’re making unprecedented investments in infrastructure and laying the groundwork for the offshore wind industry, which is primed to benefit from New York’s talented, ambitious workforce,” Hochul said during welcome remarks.
Other states like Maryland and Massachusetts are also determined to capture the economic benefits of an important new industry and are putting money into ports and manufacturing supports.
The steady progress is giving developers, turbine manufacturers and other industry players confidence that a significant pipeline is in the cards.
“I think that by around 2027 we’re looking at between 2GW and 3GW (installed capacity) and then a rapid escalation from there,” said Innogy’s Wissemann.
Image: Block Island wind farm in the US (Deepwater Wind)