U.S. Offshore Wind

The United States has an opportunity to accelerate offshore wind energy growth, and benefit from 28 new gigawatts of clean energy and $1.7 billion in U.S. Treasury revenue by 2022, a new study released from research group Wood Mackenzie finds. Findings from this study confirm additional lease areas are needed to meet demand, reduce energy costs, increase competition, and ultimately generate thousands of jobs and billions in investment. Additionally, the findings offer guidance to decision-makers about new offshore wind leases, which can be a short-term solution to jump start recovery from a coronavirus pandemic-driven economic slowdown.

Commissioned by four energy industry groups, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA), and the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) at the University of Delaware, the study dives into the economic impact of offshore wind activities as a result of potential Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease auctions in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Based on existing activities and policy assumptions for future offshore wind development, two million acres of federal waters in the New York Bight, which includes parts of New Jersey, as well as California and the Carolinas, could be auctioned for commercial leases as early as this year as well as in 2021. Such leasing could support 28 GW of offshore wind development and generate $1.2 billion in U.S. Treasury revenue. Other auctions for lease areas in the Gulf of Maine and areas in California could happen in 2022 and would generate an additional $500 million in U.S. Treasury revenue.

Significant capital investment will be put into the U.S. economy to support offshore wind activities. Total investment in the U.S. offshore wind industry will be $17 billion by 2025, $108 billion by 2030 and $166 billion by 2035. From 2022 to 2035, capital investment of $42 billion will go to turbine manufacturers and the supply chain, $107 billion will go to the construction industry, and $8 billion will go to the transportation industry and ports. Annual capital investment for O&M activities will increase to $2.4 billion in 2035.

In addition to delivering clean energy to millions of households, the offshore wind industry will also contribute a variety of economic benefits to the U.S. economy, including supporting tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment. If the assumed BOEM auctions in 2021 and 2022 happen, total full time equivalent (FTE) job creation from the resulting offshore wind activities, including development, construction and operation will be approximately 80,000 jobs annually from 2025 to 2035.

A previous report from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), said that offshore wind investment in U.S. waters will require $70 billion by 2030 just based on current demand.

Maintaining this tremendous level of interest from offshore wind developers requires a reliable inventory of regularly scheduled offshore wind sales and the ability to develop those resources. Coastal communities and extreme environmental groups opposing seismic surveying and the issuance of incidental harassment authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act may literally take the wind out of these sales.  Just as it is for offshore oil and gas development, seismic surveying is vital for offshore wind development, specifically in the siting of wind turbines and transmission corridors.

NOIA is dedicated to working with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, coastal communities, consumers, energy producers and other stakeholders in working through these challenges to make offshore wind a reality for millions of Americans.

Wood Mackenzie 2020-2022 Offshore Wind Study
SIOW - Supply Chain Contracting Forecast for U.S. Offshore Wind Power
NOIA Offshore Wind Priorities List for Biden Administration

Recent Media
NEPA Modernization Empowers Offshore Wind Development, Washington Examiner
US Should Accelerate Offshore Wind Plans, Morning Consult
A trailblazing moment for the energy industry, Washington Times
Trump Deserves Credit for Cheering 'NRG, Real Clear Markets

Press Statements
Offshore Energy Industry Releases Economic Impact Study of New Federal Offshore Wind Lease Auctions
One Year Later: Offshore Massachusetts Wind Auction
Offshore Wind Uniform Layout Proposal Shows Community Collaboration and Leadership

Fact Sheets
Wood Mackenzie Study National Impacts
Wood Mackenzie Study State Impacts
Wood Mackenzie Study What They Are Saying
One Year Later: Offshore Massachusetts Wind Auction
Offshore Wind Potential
Offshore Wind for Territories Act