The Department of the Interior announced plans today to auction leases for eight wind power sites in the shallow stretch of the Atlantic between New York’s Long Island and New Jersey. The proposed sites offer the potential for as much as 7 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 2.6 million homes. Interior has not yet set an auction date but the announcement initiates a 60-day public comment period. This would be the first competitive offshore wind lease sale for the Biden-Harris administration.
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Governor Roy Cooper today issued an Executive Order which establishes offshore wind development goals of 2.8 gigawatts (GW or thousand megawatts) off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040. Achieving these goals will power roughly 2.3 million homes by 2040. The Order highlights the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind and directs actions to help North Carolina secure the jobs and economic development associated with the industry’s estimated $140 billion investment over the next 15 years to develop projects from North Carolina up the Atlantic Coast.
Today, the White House convened National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl to announce an effort to advance areas for offshore wind off the northern and central coasts of California. This will open up the Pacific Coast to its first commercial scale offshore clean energy projects: as much as 4,600 megawatts of clean energy which will power 1.6 million American homes.
Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), today received the Record of Decision from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the final major step in the federal review process for the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the United States. Vineyard will reach financial close in the second half of 2021 and will begin delivering clean energy – enough for 400,000 Massachusetts homes – in 2023.
Ocean Wind (an Ørsted/PSEG joint venture) and EEW announced the signing of a Project Labor Agreement and also broke ground for the EEW monopile manufacturing facility at the Port of Paulsboro Marine Terminal in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Construction of the facility will be completed under a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the South Jersey Building Trades Council, ensuring that jobs created during the construction phase will be filled by local New Jersey union tradesmen and women.
In another sign of the speed with which this Administration is moving on offshore wind, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced its intention to proceed, this year, with the auction of 8 lease blocks offshore New York and New Jersey. The lease areas could host approximately 8,000 megawatts of wind energy representing thousands of jobs and total investment of close to $30-billion.
The Department of Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), released the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Vineyard Wind project: the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US which will be located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. With a generating capacity of 800 megawatts (MW), the project’s 84 wind turbines will provide significant benefits to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by generating zero-emission electricity to power more than 400,000 homes, creating thousands of good paying jobs, and reducing electricity rates by $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation.
Governor Murphy allocates $200-million in 2022 budget for new port in South Jersey for offshore windRead More
Although the port was announced in June of last year, the level of funding from New Jersey was not. Construction is planned for two phases for the port, beginning later this year. The $200 million targeted from the budget is intended to facilitate physical development of the port. The initial phase involves a 30-acre site for marshalling activities where wind turbines, towers and monopiles, will be assembled. As it happens, this $200-million, matches what New York is offering offshore wind developers to build out ports in the Empire State. Competition is heating up!
Equinor Wind US will develop two new offshore wind farms more than 20 miles off the shore of Long Island, in what is the largest procurement of renewable energy by a state in U.S. history. Upon completion, the two offshore wind farms will have a combined capacity of 2,490 megawatts. They’ll generate carbon-free energy sufficient for 1.6 million NY households, bring another $8.9 billion in investment, and create more than 5,200 jobs. Also included: the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility.
Governor Phil Murphy, alongside EEW, Ørsted, legislators, and members of the building trades, today announced a $250-million investment in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to build steel monopiles for the US offshore wind industry. The facility, which will be located at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in Gloucester County, is the largest industrial offshore wind investment in the US to date and will create more than 500 high-paying jobs. Construction will commence in January 2021 and production in 2023.
Dominion Energy announced today it has reached a major milestone – the keel laying – in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel currently being built by the global marine shipbuilding firm Keppel AmFELS at its Brownsville, Texas shipyard. The vessel, named Charybdis, will utilize more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel. It will be 472 feet long with a width of 184 feet and a depth of 38 feet; making it one of the largest vessels of its kind globally.
Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, today announced that it has selected GE as its preferred supplier of wind turbines for its 800 megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 project: the first utility-scale offshore wind installation in the US. GE’s industry leading Haliade-X wind turbine, is the most powerful in operation to date. GE is poised to play a pivotal role in the development of US offshore wind power, which will be a major source of investments and jobs across the supply chain in communities throughout the region.
To solidify Maine’s leadership in floating offshore wind energy and collaborate with Maine’s fisheries on the industry’s development, Governor Janet Mills today announced the State’s plan to create the country’s first floating offshore wind research array in the Gulf of Maine. With some of the highest sustained wind speeds in the world, the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Maine has great potential for generating clean energy and economic opportunity for Maine, as offshore wind investment in the U.S. is estimated to top $70 billion through 2030.
Today, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the first offshore wind development initiative for the Gulf of Mexico, and one which plans to harness Louisiana’s strengths in offshore energy production. The Governor asked the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to help establish a task force of federal, state and local officials that will coordinate commercial offshore wind leasing proposals for the federal waters off Louisiana’s coast.
Rhode Island will pursue a competitive request for proposals (RFP) to procure up to 600 MW of new offshore wind energy. The state is home to North America’s first operational offshore wind farm (Block Island) and, in 2019, received a critical state approval for the 400 MW Revolution Wind offshore project. This latest effort is in-line with Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-01, which placed Rhode Island on a path toward meeting 100 percent of its electricity demand with renewable energy resources by 2030. The RFP is expected in early 2021
America’s nascent offshore wind industry is getting a boost with news today that will make it easier to support the sector’s massive infrastructure needs. Ørsted, the world’s leading offshore wind developer, has inked a multimillion-dollar deal with a U.S. shipbuilder to construct the sector’s first ship that is compliant with a law controlling shipping goods in U.S. waters: The Jones Act. The Service Operations Vessel (SOV) will create 300 new jobs during its construction.
The project, 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, has officially started generating electricity. Ørsted, working with their partner Dominion Energy in addition to Siemens Gamesa, finished construction of the two-turbine CVOW (Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind) pilot project in late June. CVOW then underwent acceptance testing before being energized today. CVOW is now the first offshore wind farm operating in U.S. federal waters and so this project represents a massive step forward for the American offshore wind industry.
New Jersey opened the application window for the State’s second solicitation of offshore wind capacity. This second solicitation seeks to award between 1,200 and 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy, potentially tripling the State’s committed capacity from 1,100 MW to 3,500 MW. This represents a significant milestone toward achieving the State’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy in New Jersey by 2035, which will power 3.2 million homes with renewable energy.
Federal government agencies have released a really useful tool which gives interested parties ready access to online, graphical, information about any area of the US outer continental shelf. These graphics are available in six topic areas: general information, energy and minerals, natural resources and conservation, oceanographic and biophysical, transportation and infrastructure, and economics and commerce. This allows ready comparison of offshore wind and other users.
After a delay – due to COVID – New York issued a record solicitation for a total of 4,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity of which 2,500 MW will be offshore wind. This amounts to the largest combined renewable energy solicitation ever in US history. Following on from a 2019 award of 1,700 MW of offshore wind to two developers (Ørsted and Equinor), this new solicitation will bring the Empire State halfway to its goal of having 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.
Dominion Energy announced today the successful installation of the two turbine, 12-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project 27 miles off Virginia Beach. The first offshore wind farm to be approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and installed in federal waters, and the second constructed in the United States, was built safely and on schedule despite the worldwide impact from the coronavirus pandemic. The turbines will now undergo acceptance testing before being energized later this summer and producing enough clean, renewable energy, at peak output, to power 3,000 Virginia homes.
Only one week after Siemens Gamesa revealed plans for its new, largest-in-the-world, turbine of 14 megawatts (MW), Dominion Energy announced that it would use the turbine at its largest-in-the-US wind project offshore Virginia Beach, VA: the massive 2,640 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore commercial project.
Each turbine has the capability to produce up to 15 MW of power or enough, over a year, to power 65,700 average US homes.
In a first quarter conference call on 5 May, the company confirmed that it was part of a consortium formed to build the vessel which, it said, would work on behalf of leading offshore wind developers in the US market, (not just on its own projects) and will be capable of handling all existing and next-generation offshore wind turbines. Funding is to be finalized among consortium participants and the vessel is expected to enter service in 2023.
Credit to the Empire State for the being the first in the nation to pass legislation (‘The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act‘) which tackles the root problem facing renewables: a planning and permitting process which was built for large centralized power stations and not for distributed renewables. The legislation should materially assist NY in reaching its 70% renewables by 2030 target (up from 28% today).
The Virginia Clean Economy Act cleared its last hurdle in the General Assembly this week when both the House of Delegates and the Senate agreed to a final version that reflected the more aggressive House timeline of making Virginia’s electric grid carbon-free by 2045 while also incorporating stronger protections for electric utility ratepayers. It provides for a massive build-out of renewables including 16.1 GW of solar and 5.2 GW of offshore wind. The bill was described by advocates as the most progressive climate legislation ever to come out of the South.
Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut and its partners Gateway Terminal, Ørsted, and Eversource have reached a final agreement on a harbor development plan for State Pier in New London that will transform the pier into a world-class offshore wind center and bring hundreds of well-paying jobs to the area.
The $157 million agreement will re-make State Pier as a modern, heavy-lift capable port and position it to meet the facility requirements of the offshore wind industry.
Mayflower Wind promised it would deliver to Massachusetts “the lowest cost offshore wind energy ever in the U.S.,” and appears to have lived up to that commitment.
Electricity generated by Mayflower Wind will cost 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or $58 per megawatt hour (MWh) and the company estimates its project will provide the state with a total economic benefit of nearly $2.5 billion. The price of $58/MWh is significantly less than the $65/MWh agreed with the similarly located and sized Vineyard project in late 2017.
The Empire State plans to issue the solicitation in the middle of this year for as much as 2,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind, which, combined with earlier solicitations from three separate projects would lead to more than 4,300 MW of procured offshore wind by the end of 2020. Although no specific date has been given, the solicitation is expected to be announced mid this year. Also of note in this article is that one of the reasons New York is moving so fast: the rapid drop in prices. Indeed; the 1,700 MW of projects, awarded in 2019, were at a cost which was a staggering 40% lower than New York had forecast in 2018.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) selected Vineyard’s 804 MW offshore wind bid on Thursday, nearly six months after Gov. Ned Lamont, D, signed legislation requiring a state solicitation for up to 2,000 MW of offshore wind. The Park City Wind Project is the developer’s second offshore wind project in the U.S. and will be built in the same federal waters lease area as its 800 MW Massachusetts project. Their winning bid includes plans to redevelop an 18.3-acre waterfront industrial property, Barnum Landing, in Bridgeport, into an offshore wind hub.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed an executive order backing a goal of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, more than doubling the state’s existing 3,500 megawatt target for 2030.
By the mid-2030s, offshore wind could provide New Jersey with half of its electricity, Murphy said in a speech alongside former Vice President Al Gore. NJ is currently heavily reliant on ‘natural’ gas and nuclear – which together generate more than 90% of the state’s electricity. The 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind will fundamentally change this, generating more than 35% of the state’s entire electricity needs.