Offshore wind market analysts forecast 14 gigawatts of capacity in U.S. waters by 2030 – halfway to the Biden administration’s goal 30 GW, but with $65 billion of investments on track to achieve it in 2033.

The American Clean Power Association (ACP) on July 9 released its 2024 Offshore Wind Market Report, predicting the renewable power industry iwill support 56,000 jobs in the United States. The report counts 12 GW of capacity to come from projects with active offtake agreements. Those include 4 GW now under construction: Vineyard Wind and Revolution Wind off southern New England, and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.  

“Across 37 leases in the U.S., there are now 56 GW (56,363 MW) of capacity under development, enough electricity to power the equivalent of 22 million homes,” the report states. Market analysts forecast that there will be 14 GW of offshore wind deployed by 2030, 30 GW by 2033, and 40 GW online by 2035. These outlooks build on the 7.6 GW of offshore wind projects seeking to be operational by the end of 2027.”

Coming after months of setbacks for the U.S. industry, including Ørsted’s cancellation of its Ocean Wind 1 project off New Jersey in fall 2023, the report is no surprise with its assessment of the Biden administration’s 30 GW goal falling short in 2030. It strikes an optimistic note looking at projects that have survived the shakeout.

“After the successful start-up of the 132 MW South Fork wind farm earlier this year, and with 136 MW operational at Vineyard Wind, offshore wind is gaining momentum with three projects under construction and thirty-seven more in development,” said ACP Chief Policy Officer Frank Macchiarola. “Harnessing America’s offshore wind resources will boost economic activity, create jobs, reduce pollution providing environmental and public health benefits, and strengthen America’s energy security by enhancing grid reliability and energy independence."

The report highlights the economic impact of offshore wind on domestic U.S. shipbuilding, port infrastructure, and other supply chain activities. It counts around 40 new vessels currently on order or under construction, including 28 crew transfer vessels (CTVs), seven service peration vessels (SOV). Two wind turbine installation vessels, and two tugs and two barges to support offshore wind operations and maintenance round out the list.

State solicitations could award procurement contracts for an additional 8,800 - 12,200 MW of offshore wind projects in the second half of 2024, all located off the Northeast coast. States with ongoing or upcoming solicitations include New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

New Jersey took the lead among the states for most offshore wind capacity under contract. The Garden State has 5,252 MW of projects under contract. Virginia has the most offshore wind capacity under construction, with 2,587 MW.

The report notes that while contract cancellations and rebidding impacted offshore wind development in 2023, states have been quick to open new solicitations and streamline processes.

The momentum and investment are likely to continue with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) planning to hold four lease sales in the second half of 2024 in the Central Atlantic, Oregon, the Gulf of Maine, and a second Gulf of Mexico lease sale. These four lease sales will open nearly 1.9 million acres of federal waters to offshore wind development, potentially paving the way to more than 20 GW of future clean power generation capacity.


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