Most coastal U.S. states have progressed beyond debating the merits of offshore wind. Their combined efforts are marching America toward a need for a developed offshore wind supply chain. 2017 is seeing some states progress more than others but the business opportunities remain abundant. Below is an update on States with offshore activity.
Updated October, 2017
The University of Maine’s semisubmersible floating offshore wind design ‘Aqua Ventus,’ following its additional $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, continues to advance its work. The project managed to avoid pressure from the legislature to relocate the test site and it has retained the interest and partnership of French defense company DCNS.
The state is advancing its offshore wind industry and approaching the first off-take awards. Existing lease holders, Ørsted Energy’s Bay State Wind (formerly DONG Energy), OffshoreMW (now under joint ownership of Copenhagen Investment Group and Avangrid, which is owned by Iberdrola and Scottish Renewable Power) and Deep Water Wind continue to compete for the first utility off-take. Simultaneously, both Statoil and PNE independently have submitted unsolicited proposals to U.S. Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for new overlapping sites off the Massachusetts coast. It is anticipated that BOEM will start the process for determining expressions of competitive interest for the two lease areas that did not receive contracts in the last auction with the expectation that the auction will take place mid-2018.
The nation’s first offshore wind farm, built by Deepwater Wind in state-waters off the coast of Block Island, continues to draw interest and is the beacon that the U.S. market has finally launched.
NYSERDA identified the Area for Consideration for assessment by BOEM to find new offshore wind energy areas off the coast of the State. The Area is located in the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island. More information about the Area can be found here.
Statoil Wind US LLC, with its 79,000 acres lease, is considered to have the potential to generate up to 800 MW of nameplate capacity and aligns with Governor Cuomo’s announcement for the State of New York to install 2,400 MW of offshore wind by 2030. Further, Deepwater Wind is actively pursuing the development of a 90 MW offshore wind farm to be installed off the coast of Long Island. NYSERDA remains engaged in its ambitions to help drive New York State’s offshore wind future generation as it rolls out its master plan. PNE (based in Germany) has been viewing the U.S. market for the past 12 months and has now made its advance by submitting an unsolicited proposal for 400 MW off the coast of Fire Island. BOEM has indicated that the 40,000 acre area could support as many as 50 turbines.
All eyes are on the November election and the high expectations are that the state will finally be able to bring offshore wind energy to its shores and meet a target goal of 3500 MW by 2030. The Business Network for Offshore Wind will be holding the 2018 International Partnering Forum (April 3-6) in Princeton, NJ as a way to bring the world’s experts and supply chain members to the next U.S. opportunity of scale.
Maryland-based developer U.S. Wind was awarded ORECs by the Maryland Public Service Commission to construct 268 MW of nameplate capacity of offshore wind off the coast of Ocean City, which will grid connect into Delaware. Since the inception of offshore wind on Maryland’s coast was introduced to Ocean City Mayor and the local Council, the technology has advanced with larger turbines often requiring installation on taller towers. The developer and local community continue to discuss the resulting viewshed.
Activities with the commercial lease area held by Dominion Power could be revived with the news that Ørsted Energy (formerly DONG Energy) plans to jointly construct and deploy two offshore wind turbines in the offshore wind research area by 2020. This could mark the first turbines in Federal water. On October 12, BOEM approved the Site Assessment Plan for Lease OCS-A 0483 (Dominion). The plan details the methods and procedures Dominion will use to collect and analyze meteorological data and information on the conditions of the marine environment within the Commercial Lease. The SAP approval allows for the installation of a WindSentinel™, a floating light detection and ranging (LiDAR) buoy.
Earlier in the year, Iberdrola’s U.S. subsidiary Avangrid won the most recent lease offered by BOEM for the 122,000 acres in Federal waters.
BOEM continues to explore ways to merge the development of the 51,600-acre Wilmington West and 133,600-acre Wilmington East tracts of the North Carolina offshore wind area with the much larger 628,000-acre Grand Strand lease area in South Carolina. The expected next step is for a joint North and South Carolina Task-force meeting. There is a possibility of a 75 MW facility with rate-based costs, to be approved by the legislature in 2018.
Georgia Power’s application for three leases offshore to conduct wind viability tests continue to remain ‘under review.’
The Network has been in dialogue with the Governor’s office, members of the legislature and Commissioners to encourage them to understand the different models used in Europe for permitting, resolving conflicting uses and procurement. The progressive passage of the amendment to SB100 calling for 100% RPS by 2045, although stalled two days prior to Session end, signals great promise for California’s offshore wind and floating technology.
US BOEM is processing an unsolicited lease request for a proposed floating wind demonstration project offshore of Coos Bay, Oregon. The project would consist of up to three 6.0-8.0MW wind turbine generators mounted on floating foundations, anchored to the seafloor in 1,200 to 1,600 feet water depth.
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCO) continues to drive and support offshore wind in the Great Lakes, primarily in Lake Erie. The Network is an official intervener in support of the development of the Icebreaker Wind project with its six 3 MW direct-drive wind turbines.
The beginning of U.S. floating offshore wind could commence in Hawaii with Statoil’s New Energy Ventures submitting an expression of interest for the lease area off Oahu. Prior unsolicited lease requests were submitted by: AW Hawaii Wind for the 400 MW AWH Oahu Northwest project and the 400 MW AWH Oahu South project; as well as Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind, part of Oregon-based Progression Energy, for the 400 MW Progression South Coast of Oahu project.