Biden Partners With East Coast Governors To Accelerate Offshore Wind—Here’s How It Fits Into His Climate Plan

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Topline

The Biden administration launched a partnership with 11 state governors Thursday to accelerate offshore wind along the East Coast, a key component of Biden’s larger climate plan, and a departure from former President Donald Trump’s dismissal of renewable energy as “expensive” and bad for birds.

Key Facts

The partnership announced Thursday between the White House and state governors from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina, intends to boost offshore wind energy projects along the East Coast.

Offshore wind is a critical component of Biden’s larger climate goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by the end of the decade, estimated to power 10 million homes and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 78 million metric tons.

White House officials say the partnership will “accelerate offshore wind progress” through a commitment to expand “key elements of the supply chain,” including manufacturing facilities for components of wind projects, both offshore and at ports.

The federal Department of Energy, along with two of the 11 states – New York and Maryland – will provide funding for a “comprehensive offshore wind supply chain roadmap” intended to fund supply chain needs, according to a White House statement released Thursday.

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration said it will prioritize funding for vessels needed to install offshore wind turbines by designating them as “vessels of national interest,” an element of wind farm installation the federal government acknowledged in March as a challenge to progressing offshore wind.

Key Background

The Biden administration’s climate plan calls for 2,100 wind turbines, 6,800 miles of undersea electric cables, five to six wind turbine installation vessels, 10 barges to transport materials to wind farms and an average annual workforce between 12,300 and 49,000 full-time employees in the wind industry. It’s a departure from former President Donald Trump’s indictment of clean energy as “expensive,” inefficient to power America’s “beautiful factories” and dangerous for birds. The Biden administration has so far approved two commercial-scale wind farms: Vineyard Wind, a 30-gigawatt wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, and South Fork Wind, another 30-gigawatt project off the coast of Rhode Island. More than a dozen other offshore wind projects – from Maine to South Carolina – are under federal review. In February, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received bids – totaling a combined $4.37 billion – from six companies to develop wind farms on six federal lease sites off New York and New Jersey, one of the seven areas the federal government has its eyes on for future wind farms off Oregon, California, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia and in the Gulf of Mexico.

What To Watch For

When offshore wind will be developed off the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Thursday’s partnership states it will “expand to include governors from the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico as offshore wind energy projects develop in those areas.”

Further Reading

Offshore Wind Energy — Rich With Opportunity, For Oil Giants And Utilities Alike (Forbes)

China Built More Offshore Wind In 2021 Than Every Other Country Built In 5 Years (Forbes)

Offshore Wind Will Define The Race For Ocean Space (Forbes)

Offshore wind boosted as Biden, East Coast governors team up (Associated Press)

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