White House Unveils 11-State Partnership to Boost Offshore Wind Development and National Supply Chain

Diving brief:

  • Governors from 11 East Coast states have signed an agreement with the White House to launch a federal-state offshore wind implementation partnership focused on growing a national offshore wind supply chain.

  • The partnership will serve as a forum for state and federal leaders to collaborate on issues such as workforce training, transmission and interconnection, port capacity and other priorities. The partnership could expand to include the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, according to the White House.

  • Businesses and trade groups hailed the formation of the partnership, saying it should help coordinate sometimes disjointed or overlapping efforts among states pursuing offshore wind as an environmental and economic development strategy.

Overview of the dive:

After years of state-led efforts to establish offshore wind in the United States, a new partnership between the White House and 11 East Coast states is expected to further accelerate the creation of a national industry and chain. of supply, according to industry leaders.

The Biden administration announced on June 23 that it had joined Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in an agreement that will see the partners share data and coordinate strategies on the development of an offshore wind industry on the East Coast of the United States.

Heads of state agreed to take a regional approach to offshore wind labor and economic development issues, while the Biden administration pledged to facilitate permitting in in a timely manner and to identify federal funding that could support the industry. All parties also agreed to develop “an offshore wind supply chain roadmap that identifies critical gaps and opportunities to meet state and federal offshore wind goals,” according to the House announcement. White.

“I’m encouraged to hear the commitments today for a more efficient responsible licensing and review process, and a lease auction process that encourages supply chain investment” , said Ørsted Offshore North America CEO David Hardy at an event marking the launch of the partnership. “These commitments will help alleviate some – not all – of the major obstacles in our path to rapidly building an offshore wind industry in the United States.”

Hardy noted that Ørsted has six commercial-scale offshore wind projects underway in five states. However, a company spokesperson said only one of those projects had been fully approved due to the delay in the permit review process.

Beyond the commitment to expedite the permitting process, the partnership has the potential to streamline the development of a national offshore wind supply chain, according to Sam Salustro, director of coalitions and strategic partnerships at the Business Network. for Offshore Wind.

The network is tracking a dozen projects that would increase the United States’ ability to supply offshore wind developers, but that won’t be enough to meet the demand that is expected to come from state and federal renewable energy targets, a said Salustro.

“Global demand is skyrocketing, and there are fears that being dependent on overseas supply chains is really putting us at risk,” he said. “Europe and Asia are moving as fast as we are, and if we don’t have our own capabilities, projects can be delayed because attention is diverted elsewhere.”

Partnership between states is particularly critical, Salustro said, because to date most state leaders have focused on ensuring their citizens receive the economic benefits associated with offshore wind. But those states must work together to create a viable offshore wind market in the United States, Salustro said.

The New York Offshore Wind Alliance also welcomed the creation of the partnership. “As our ancestors discovered more than two centuries ago, we are most successful as a nation when we work together as one economic unit,” NYOWA director Fred Zalcman said in a statement.

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