Eugene City Councilor Ward 8

Value of offshore wind rising

14 October 2021

 Randy Groves

Comment from Councilor Groves: A possible replacement source of renewable energy for the loss in hydroelectric energy generation due to regulatory changes, federal court decisions and drought.

Report: Value of offshore wind rising

Supply chain will be worth $109B in 10 years

Wayne Parry ASSOCIATED PRESS ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – A group studying the economics of offshore wind energy in the U.S. says building and operating the nascent industry will be worth $109billion to businesses in its supply chain over the next 10 years.

The report by the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind comes as states on both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico are moving to enter or expand their role in the industry, and are making crucial decisions on what to spend and where to spend it.

Multiple states, including New Jersey, want to become the hub of the supply chain that will support offshore wind energy in the U.S., planning and building onshore support sites for manufacturing turbine blades and other components of wind power.

The group, affiliated with the University of Delaware, estimated the market at $70billion just two years ago, but updated its estimates as the industry continues to grow quickly.

One caveat: the report notes that most of the initial components to be used for U.S. offshore wind projects will come from Europe. It does not attempt to predict when or where a shift might occur.

The U.S. has set a goal of generating 30 gigawatts of power from offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power over 10million homes.

Supply chain spending is already happening.

On Friday, Orsted and Eversource signed an $86million supply chain contract with Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. to build foundation components for wind turbines for New York’s Sunrise Wind project off Montauk Point on Long Island, New York, that will be able to power 600,000 homes.

In August, those two companies also signed a deal with Kiewit Offshore Services for the first American-built offshore wind substation, which will be a part of the same Long Island project.

The substation will be constructed in Ingleside, Texas, near Corpus Christi.

'These investments have been a vision for a long time, but they are becoming a reality today,' said Tory Mazzola, an Orsted spokesman.

'We believe the offshore wind industry is going to bring billions of dollars into New Jersey,' said Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the state Board of Public Utilities. 'It’s a lot of money, to be sure.'

The expenditures forecast in the report include nearly $44billion on 2,057 offshore wind turbines and towers; $17billion on 2,110 offshore turbine and substation foundations; nearly $13billion on nearly 5,000 miles of cables; $10.3billion on 53 on-and-offshore substations; as well as other construction and operational costs.

It also projects the amount of power states will generate from offshore wind by 2030. New York is forecast to have 9,314 megawatts; New Jersey to have 7,558; Massachusetts to have 5,604; Virginia to have 5,200; Connecticut to have 2,108; Maryland to have 1,568; and Rhode Island to have 1,000.

Copyright © 2021 The Register-Guard 10/14/2021

Randy Groves