Saturday, September 15, 2018

Building America's Regional Offshore Wind Powerhouses – 10 GWs & Counting

By making firm commitments to more than 10 GW of OSW (see list below), these states are taking the lead and laying a foundation for a booming new U.S. offshore energy sector, one that will strengthen America's all-of-the-above energy mix by tapping into a vast homegrown resource and market, and help the nation achieve not just energy independence but energy dominance in the global economy. 

Bigger is Better – And Essential for OSW Success
This commitment to scale confirms one of the secrets to success and key milestones on the roadmap to realize America's OSW potential — bigger is indeed better.  For OSW, big is essential for driving the economies of scale necessary to spur industry momentum, market competition and declining costs.

The latest proof points in U.S. OSW progress are clear to see:  
  • In Massachusetts, contracts for its first 800 megawatts (MW) of OSW delivered a remarkable $65/MWh for the final project phase, significantly below expectations and saving consumers as much as $14/MWh.  Shortly thereafter, the state doubled its OSW commitment to 3.2 GW.
  • New York is issuing an RFP for the first 800 MW of its 2.4 GW OSW commitment later this Fall, and has asked the Department of Interior to designate additional lease areas recommended by the state's OSW master plan.
  • New Jersey also plans to issue an RFP for the first 1.1 GW of its 3.5 GW OSW commitment this Fall.  A new study reports every OSW dollar invested by the state will yield $1.83 in economic benefits.  Similar positive returns were cited for OSW investments by other Atlantic coast states.
  • Nationally, the Department of Energy's new 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update reports the total project pipeline for U.S. OSW development rising to 25.5 GW capacity in 13 states on the East and West Coasts and Great Lakes.  To continue cutting costs, the size of OSW turbines is also growing along with scale of GWs.  New OSW turbines being tested or planned will reach or exceed 10 MW of power and stand taller than San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid.
Next Step:  Creating Regional U.S. OSW Powerhouses
By going big, state policymakers are enabling OSW developers to build a thriving new U.S. heavy industry, one that finally has reached America's shores after years of generating cost-effective electricity in Europe.  Now it's time to take another important step — shifting from competition among individual states for which can go biggest, to collaboration between states – early and strategic — to build strong regional OSW powerhouses that take competition and scale to the next level.  States that do so will benefit most — in jobs, supply chain and low-cost power.  

Read more at Building America's Regional Offshore Wind Powerhouses – 10 GWs & Counting

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