Within his first week as President of the United States, Joe Biden called for an executive order to improve American infrastructure. With this executive order, developing a clean energy economy and millions of new jobs were on the forefront. The goals driving the development of an offshore wind industry include promoting clean energy and creating American jobs. Areas most impacted by the boost in new jobs and economic opportunities include the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Coastline. The Biden Administration also projects that by developing the Offshore Wind Power Industry, there will be a boost in new supply chains stretching through America’s heartland. An example of this is the 10,000 tons of domestic steel produced in Alabama and West Virginia supplying a Texas shipyard where Dominion Energy is developing a wind turbine installation vessel.
On March 29, 2021, The Biden Administration announced a 30-GW U.S. offshore wind and energy construction target by 2030. Opening the federal ocean to the construction of Wind Power Infrastructure is expected to produce more than $12 billion per year in capital investment projects on the east and west coasts. The areas offshore of New York and New Jersey, if developed, will meet their wind energy goals by 2035. The country’s first significant Offshore Wind Energy project was approved on May 11, 2021, in New England. The project, known as Vineyard Wind 1, will consist of 62 turbines, about a mile apart, each standing at around 837 feet above the water’s surface. The project is estimated to cost about $2.8 billion. Construction for this project is expected to bury cables beneath the ocean floor to connect the power from the turbines to New England’s onshore power grid. At this time, the U.S. has only seven developed wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Rhode Island and Virginia, with about a dozen total in development in federal waters along the East Coast. America is lagging in comparison to Europe who has over 5,000 wind turbine sites.
On May 25, 2021, the Biden Administration announced to open the California coast to offshore wind development, adding further momentum to the administration’s goal to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. Two sites off Central and Northern California have been targeted with the possibility of developing floating wind turbines. The floating turbines could produce 4.6 gigawatts of electricity which could supply 1.6 million homes.
“FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Jumpstarts Offshore Wind Energy Projects to Create Jobs.” The White House, The United States Government, 29 Mar. 2021, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/29/fact-sheet-biden-administration-jumpstarts-offshore-wind-energy-projects-to-create-jobs/.
Sommer, Lauren. “Biden Administration Strikes A Deal To Bring Offshore Wind To California.” NPR, NPR, 25 May 2021, www.npr.org/2021/05/25/1000210550/biden-administration-strikes-deal-to-bring-offshore-wind-to-california.
Wasser, Miriam. “Biden Administration Approves 1st Major Offshore Wind Energy Project.” NPR, NPR, 11 May 2021, www.npr.org/2021/05/11/995852356/biden-administration-approves-first-major-offshore-wind-energy-project.