The offshore wind industry in the US would benefit from a federal-level rather than purely regional commitment to offshore wind leasing, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) says.
NOIA vice president for government and political affairs Tim Charters issued the following statement in response to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM's) new regional offshore wind leasing strategy.
“For nearly a decade, BOEM has operated with a regional approach, giving states and BOEM the flexibility to develop offshore wind projects in a manner that balances state policies and federal leasing.
“This effort has put the US on the verge of an offshore energy boom, which will bring billions of dollars of investment along with thousands of jobs and tens of gigawatts of electricity.
“However, the offshore wind industry and its supporting supply chain need a steady supply of planning, leasing and construction opportunities to build a competitive and robust domestic industry.
“While the historic users of the ocean search out agreeable paths to accommodate this growing industry, the resources in federal waters ultimately belong to the American people, thus there must be a strong federal commitment to developing our offshore wind resources.
“More leasing means more competition for opportunities and more players in the offshore space, which means more competition for prices and more opportunities for supply chain companies.
“NOIA is encouraged by BOEM’s interest in offshore wind and the geographic diversity of potential projects. However, NOIA hopes that BOEM will further develop this strategy to give industry a clearer idea of when and where to expect lease sales.
“As an example, one option would be to commit in advance to a multi-sale schedule for the Gulf of Maine and begin the planning process with a potential commitment to three to five sales over the next seven to 10 years, providing states and industry with the federal commitment necessary to continue the robust growth of offshore wind.”