“When I think about these windmills, I see American manufacturing, American workers racing to dominate the global market. I see the steel that will be needed for those windmill platforms, towers, and ladders that can be made in small manufacturers... I see the union train(ed) and certified men and women who will manufacture and install it all. I see the ports that will come back to life, the longshoreman, the shipbuilders, the communities they support.”
-Joseph R. Biden, July 14, 2020
As of August 2020, there are only two offshore wind turbine arrays in U.S. waters, the first being the Block Island Wind Farm in state waters off Rhode Island and the second being the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, or CVOW, in Federal waters offshore Virginia. However, with the right regulatory environment this is positioned to change dramatically.
Earlier this year, NOIA and several other allied organizations funded the attached study (Attachment One) aimed at examining the possible net economic benefits of offshore wind. That study found that by leasing the areas the Department of Interior has discussed for future opportunities in places like offshore New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, the Northeast and California the U.S. economy could support some 80,000 jobs per year, in addition to bringing in billions of dollars to the Treasury in the form of new lease sales. This will be high-paying (and in some areas, union) jobs at a time when economic recovery is a focus at all levels of government in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Critically, this will also improve environmental justice; a flourishing offshore-wind space will bring some 160 billion kWh of renewable energy, enough to power 20 million US households in areas that have traditionally relied on fossil-fuel energy.
President-elect Joe Biden has a generational economic and energy opportunity presented by offshore wind. NOIA prepared the NOIA Offshore Wind Priorities List for Biden Administration document to highlight key Administration and Congressional priorities that could unlock offshore wind.
- Leasing and Permitting of Offshore Renewable Energy
- Appoint Renewable Energy Permitting Czar Inside Executive Office of the President
- Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit Implementation Regulations
- Reverse or Alter the Recent Withdrawal of Offshore Wind Leasing Acreage
- Improve Coordination on the Pacific Coast Between Industry and The Department of Defense
In addition, there are numerous legislation priorities a Biden Administration should support, including an extensions of the energy tax support for offshore wind, renewable energy jobs training legislation and a legislative fix to allow for wind lease sales offshore U.S. territories.