Biden Administration Jump-starts Offshore Wind Energy Projects

The Biden Administration has announced a set of bold actions that it believes will catalyse the offshore wind energy sector in the US, strengthen their domestic supply chain, and create good-paying, union jobs.

As per the White House briefing, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with state officials, industry executives, and labor leaders to announce new leasing, funding, and goals that employ President Biden’s whole-of-government approach, position America to lead a clean energy revolution, and create thousands of jobs across the country with the choice to join a union.

It further added that in his first week in office, President Biden had issued an Executive Order that calls on the US to build new American infrastructure and clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs. In particular, the US President’s Order committed to expand opportunities for the offshore wind industry in the country. 

“The President recognises that a thriving offshore wind industry will drive new jobs and economic opportunity up and down the Atlantic Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in Pacific waters. The industry will also spawn new supply chains that stretch into America’s heartland, as illustrated by the 10,000 tons of domestic steel that workers in Alabama and West Virginia are supplying to a Texas shipyard where Dominion Energy is building the Nation’s first Jones Act compliant wind turbine installation vessel,” the briefing stated.

It is believed that federal leadership, in close coordination with states and in partnership with the private sector, unions and other key stakeholders, is needed to catalyse the deployment of offshore wind at scale. And the Administration is taking the following coordinated steps to support rapid offshore wind deployment and job creation:

  • Advance Ambitious Wind Energy Projects to Create Good-Paying, Union Jobs
    1. Announcing a new wind energy area. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is announcing a new priority Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight—an area of shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast
    2. Establishing a target of employing tens of thousands of workers to deploy 30 Gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of offshore wind by 2030.
    3. Advancing critical permitting milestones for the Ocean Wind Offshore Wind project. BOEM is announcing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, putting it in line to become America’s third commercial-scale offshore wind project. Ocean Wind has proposed an offshore wind project with a total capacity of 1,100 megawatts (MW) — enough to power 500,000 homes across New Jersey.
  • Investing in American Infrastructure to Strengthen the Domestic Supply Chain and Deploy Offshore Wind Energy
    1. Investing in port infrastructure to support Offshore Wind. The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration is announcing a Notice of Funding Opportunity for port authorities and other applicants to apply for USD 230 million for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program.  Biden Offshore Wind
    2. Access to USD 3 billion in debt capital to support the Offshore Wind industry through DOE loan programs office.
  • Supporting Critical Research and Development and Data-Sharing
    1. Announcing offshore wind R&D funding through the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC), created by the DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is announcing the award of USD 8 million to 15 offshore wind research and development projects that were selected through a competitive process.
    2. Partnering with Industry on Data-Sharing. The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is signing a Memorandum of Agreement with Ørsted, an offshore wind development company, to share physical and biological data in Ørsted-leased waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
    3. Studying Offshore Wind Impacts. Biden Offshore Wind

National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said “President Biden has declared very clearly that when he thinks of climate, he thinks of people and jobs—good-paying, union jobs. That’s because President Biden believes we have an enormous opportunity in front of us to not only address the threats of climate change, but use it as a chance to create millions of good-paying, union jobs that will fuel America’s economic recovery, rebuild the middle class, and make sure we bounce back from the crises we face. Nowhere is the scale of that opportunity clearer than for offshore wind. This commitment to a new, untapped industry will create pathways to the middle class for people from all backgrounds and communities.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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