Interior, Energy, Commerce, and Transportation Departments Announce New Leasing, Funding, and Development Goals to Accelerate and Deploy Offshore Wind Energy and Jobs
Today, the White House convened leaders from across the Administration to announce a set of bold actions that will catalyze offshore wind energy, strengthen the domestic supply chain, and create good-paying, union jobs.
National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met today 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.
In his first week in office, President Biden issued an Executive Order that calls on our nation to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs. In particular, the President’s Order committed to expand opportunities for the offshore wind industry. The President recognizes 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.
Federal leadership, in close coordination with states and in partnership with the private sector, unions and other key stakeholders, is needed to catalyze the deployment of offshore wind at scale.
Today, the Administration is taking coordinated steps to support rapid offshore wind deployment and job creation:
- Advance ambitious wind energy projects to create good-paying, union jobs
- Investing in American infrastructure to strengthen the domestic supply chain and deploy offshore wind energy
- Supporting critical research and development and data-sharing.
Advance Ambitious Wind Energy Projects to Create Good-Paying, Union Jobs
- 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—which a recent study from Wood Mackenzie shows can support up to 25,000 development and construction jobs from 2022 to 2030, as well as an additional 7,000 jobs in communities supported by this development. The study indicates the New York Bight lease area also has the potential to support up to 4,000 operations and maintenance jobs annually, and approximately 2,000 community jobs, in the years following. This new Wind Energy Area is adjacent to the greater metropolitan Tri-State area— the largest metropolitan population center in the United States that is home to more than 20 million people and their energy needs. The next step is for BOEM to publish a Proposed Sale Notice, followed by a formal public comment period and a lease sale in late 2021 or early 2022.
- Establishing a Target of Employing Tens of Thousands of Workers to Deploy 30 Gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of Offshore Wind by 2030. The Departments of Interior (DOI), Energy (DOE), and Commerce (DOC) are announcing a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the United States by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity. It will also generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes for a year, and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
- DOI action to unlock deployment potential: To position the domestic offshore wind industry to meet the 2030 target, DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to advance new lease sales and complete review of at least 16 Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) by 2025, representing more than 19 GW of new clean energy for our nation.
- Massive supply chain benefits of deploying offshore wind energy at scale: Meeting the 2030 target will catalyze significant supply chain benefits, including new port upgrade investments totaling more than $500 million; one to two new U.S. factories for each major windfarm component including wind turbine nacelles, blades, towers, foundations, and subsea cables; additional cumulative demand of more than 7 million tons of steel—equivalent to 4 years of output for a typical U.S. steel mill; and the construction of 4 to 6 specialized turbine installation vessels in U.S. shipyards, each representing an investment between $250 and $500 million.
- 2050 implications of meeting the 2030 goal: Achieving this target also will unlock a pathway to 110 GW by 2050, generating 77,000 offshore wind jobs and more than 57,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity – all while creating further economic opportunity and ensuring future generations have access to clean air and abundant renewable power.
- 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 Ocean Wind, 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. BOEM previously announced environmental reviews for Vineyard Wind (MA) and South Fork (RI), and anticipates initiating the environmental reviews for up to ten additional projects later this year.
Investing in American Infrastructure to Strengthen the Domestic Supply Chain and Deploy Offshore Wind Energy
- Investing in Port Infrastructure to Support Offshore Wind. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration today is announcing a Notice of Funding Opportunity for port authorities and other applicants to apply for $230 million for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program. Port Infrastructure Development Grants support projects that strengthen and modernize port infrastructure, and can support shore-side wind energy projects, such as storage areas, laydown areas, and docking of wind energy vessels to load and move items to offshore wind farms. In addition to supporting our nation’s long-term economic vitality, DOT’s review process will consider how proposed projects can most effectively address climate change and environmental justice imperatives.
- Access to $3 billion in Debt Capital to Support Offshore Wind Industry through DOE Loan Programs Office. DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) released a fact sheet to facilitate access for the offshore wind industry for $3 billion in funding through LPO’s Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. The fact sheet signals that LPO is open for business and ready to partner with offshore wind and offshore transmission developers, suppliers, and other financing partners to scale the U.S. offshore industry and support well-paying jobs. To date, LPO has provided $1.6 billion in support of projects totaling about 1,000 MW of onshore wind.
Supporting Critical Research and Development and Data-Sharing
- 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 $8 million to 15 offshore wind research and development projects that were selected through a competitive process. The new projects will focus on offshore support structure innovation, supply chain development, electrical systems innovation, and mitigation of use conflicts that will help reduce barriers and costs for offshore wind deployment. The NOWRDC was established in 2018 with a $20.5 million DOE investment, matching funds from NYSERDA, and with follow-on contributions from state agencies in Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Maine—all resulting in a total investment of around $47 million.
- 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. This agreement is the first of its kind between an offshore wind developer and NOAA, and paves the way for future data-sharing agreements that NOAA expects to enter into with other developers. NOAA anticipates that Ørsted’s and other companies’ data will fill gaps in ocean science areas—particularly in ocean mapping and observing—in service of NOAA’s mission to advance climate adaptation and mitigation, weather-readiness, healthy oceans, and resilient coastal communities and economies.
- Studying Offshore Wind Impacts. NOAA’s Northeast Sea Grant programs, in partnership with DOE, DOC, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is releasing a request for research proposals to support more than $1 million in grant funding to improve understanding of offshore renewable energy for the benefit of a diversity of stakeholders, including fishing and coastal communities. Grant funding will support objective community-based research in the Northeast to further understanding of the effects of offshore renewable energy on the ocean and local communities and economies as well as opportunities to optimize ocean co-use.
At today’s convening, leaders from across the Administration shared their commitment to work closely with one another and with key stakeholders to deliver the economic potential presented by offshore wind energy resources.
- National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy: “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.”
- Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland: “For generations, we’ve put off the transition to clean energy and now we’re facing a climate crisis. It’s a crisis that doesn’t discriminate – every community is facing more extreme weather and the costs associated with that. But not every community has the resources to rebuild, or even get up and relocate when a climate event happens in their backyards. The climate crisis disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income families. As our country faces the interlocking challenges of a global pandemic, economic downturn, racial injustice, and the climate crisis – we have to transition to a brighter future for everyone.”
- Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm: “This offshore wind goal is proof of our commitment to using American ingenuity and might to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security, and combat the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE is going to marshal every resource we have to get as many American companies, using as many sheets of American steel, employing as many American workers as possible in offshore wind energy—driving economic growth from coast to coast.”
- Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: “The Commerce Department is committed to innovative partnerships that advance the best science and data to ensure the development of offshore wind is transparent and inclusive of all stakeholders,” said Secretary Raimondo. “We look forward to engaging the public and private sectors to invest in clean energy solutions, like offshore wind, that will contribute to our whole-of-government approach to combat the climate crisis and create high-paying, high-skilled American jobs.”
- Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg: “Tackling the climate crisis is vital to our nation’s future,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is taking actions that show how creating jobs and addressing climate change can and must go hand in hand. Today’s announcement makes a critical investment in our nation’s ports, which in turn builds up the resilience and sustainability of America’s economy.”