The Trump administration is pushing ahead on getting wind turbines built off the Atlantic coastline, as interest from developers continues to heat up.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week requested input on which parts of the U.S. Atlantic present the greatest chance for leasing by offshore developers.
“The outlook for offshore wind is bright and today, we are taking the next step to ensure a domestic offshore wind industry,” said Vincent DeVito, counselor for energy policy to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
BOEM is essentially asking for a cheat sheet on how they should assess whether a section of ocean makes for a good location for wind turbines, considering factors like water depth, shipping traffic and proximity to states with tax credits for offshore wind development.
The offshore wind industry has struggled to gain footing in this country, unable to bring down costs to keep up with their onshore counterparts.
But in recent years a series of projects have been set in motion along the Atlantic Coast. Statoil is planning a wind farm off the coast of New York that could eventually generate 1.5 gigawatts of electricity. Likewise, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables, is planning a 1.5 gigawatts project off North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“It is critical that those who develop energy off America’s shores have a stable regulatory and permitting environment,” said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association. “BOEM’s proposed path forward is a step in that direction. Today’s announcement should be met with broad support for increased access and opening of new areas for offshore energy development.”
This week Danish firm Orsted announced it was opening an office in New Jersey, another step in the company’s plan to build a 3 gigawatt wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.
According to the Atlantic City Press, Orsted spokeswoman Lauren Burm said the company might consider building a manufacturing facility in New Jersey to supply parts for offshore development, like it is planning in Massachusetts for a project there.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.