US offshore wind sets a record with 58% growth in long-term targets in Q3

Source: By Michelle Lewis, Electric • Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2022

The US offshore wind industry has hit the ground running: Coastal states increased their long-term offshore wind targets by 58% in the third quarter of 2022. That sets a record for quarterly growth, according to the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s inaugural “US Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report.”

US offshore wind growth

Groundbreaking federal policy, record investments, and new state-level legislature boosted the US offshore wind industry boom in the third quarter, with three things, in particular, spurring growth, which are, according to the report:

  • The Biden administration’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which appropriated $369 billion in new clean energy funding, including billions in tax credits for offshore wind manufacturing.
  • Federal support for a floating wind turbine industry in the US, with the Biden administration’s Floating Offshore Wind Shot initiative and a goal to deploy 15 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2035.
  • Ambitious new targets set by coastal states including California, which announced its planning goal to deploy 25 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2045, and New Jersey, which increased its target from 7.5 GW by 2035 to 11 GW by 2040.

Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said:

Our inaugural quarterly report could not come at a more exciting time for offshore wind.

With historic federal funding, new support for floating wind turbine technology, and increasingly ambitious state-level goals, the longstanding aspirations of the American offshore wind industry are poised to become reality.

Despite this tremendous growth, the industry still must overcome challenges to upgrade our grid and transmission system, localize a robust supply chain, and train a skilled workforce.

Capitalizing on this momentum requires continued coordinated action from our state and federal government to deploy a comprehensive national offshore wind industrial strategy that includes critical investments in our infrastructure, ports, and manufacturers.

The “US Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report” notes that the IRA and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, combined with efforts to bring greater transparency to the federal permitting system, underpin the beginnings of a National Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and puts the US in striking position to achieve its goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

California has the largest US planning goal, but East Coast states lead on offshore wind commitments, development, and deployment. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island in particular are moving the market forward at breakneck speed.

Electrek’s Take

The long-term targets are set, and the hard work has begun laying the foundations needed to deploy offshore wind at an enormous scale.

For example, as I wrote yesterday (link below), it doesn’t seem super titillating at first look that a power transformer factory is expanding. But it is because the infrastructure is being prepared for the massive amounts of clean energy that will come down the pipeline when those turbines are up and running. Ports are being upgraded. Components are being manufactured. New workers will be employed and trained up – there are potentially 44,000 jobs by 2030.

This report confirms the beginning of a US offshore wind revolution. This is, indeed, as Burdock says, an extremely exciting time.