Biden Administration Establishes Offshore Wind Goal of 30 Gigawatts by 2030

The Biden administration has announced a series of initiatives to advance the U.S. offshore wind industry, including committing to a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of capacity by 2030. Achieving the 2030 target is expected to lead up to the installation of 110 gigawatts of capacity by 2050.

The 2030 goal, a shared commitment by the Departments of Interior, Energy, and Commerce, is expected to spur more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on U.S. coasts and create more than 44,000 jobs in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity. Deployments at levels to meet the goal would generate enough power to supply more than 10 million homes per year and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

To facilitate the deployment, the U.S. Interior Department plans to move forward with new leases sales and review at least 16 construction and operation plans by 2025, representing about 19 gigawatts of new capacity. Deploying offshore wind at scale is expected to catalyze massive supply chain benefits, including port upgrade investments exceeding $500 million, cumulative demand for over 7 million tons of steel, and new turbine installation vessels at shipyards.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a new priority Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight, a shallow water region spanning nearly 800,000 acres between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. The next step is for the agency is to publish a proposed sale notice, followed by a public comment period and a lease sale in late 2021 or early 2022.

Federal regulators have announced a notice of intent to prepare an environmental review for Orsted’s 1.1 gigawatt Ocean Wind project off New Jersey, which is expected to become the third U.S. utility-scale project to undergo the permitting process, following Vineyard Wind in Massachusetts and South Fork in Rhode Island.

To support the 2030 goal, the administration announced a suite of investment and funding opportunities. These include access to $3 billion in funding for offshore wind projects through the U.S. Energy Department’s Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program and $230 million in funding opportunity for port authorities and other applicants for infrastructure-related projects through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium announced the award of $8 million to 15 offshore wind research and development projects that were selected through a competitive process.

With new support from the Biden administration and ongoing state efforts to bolster offshore wind, the emerging industry is set to take off. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland have collectively committed to nearly 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2035.