U.S. Offshore Wind Update

The first offshore wind farm in the United States began operation of the coast of Rhode Island in December 2016. The momentum for offshore wind projects in the United States is steadily increasing. Companies have been awarded thirty offshore wind permits. Three offshore wind farms will scheduled begin construction off the coasts of New Jersey, Massachusetts and Ohio in 2018 or 2019.

Fisherman’s Energy holds a lease with the state of New Jersey for a wind farm 2.8 mile off the coast of Atlantic City. In April, the developer announced that EDF RE will take over the 24-MW project, which is ready to begin construction. The companies say the project could begin construction later this year.

Vineyard Wind has submitted a Construction Operations Plan (COP) to BOEM. Submitting the COP to the
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the final permitting step prior to construction. Construction is forecast to begin in 2019.

Lake Erie Energy Development Company (LEEDCo) is in the final permitting stage for a fresh water wind farm in Lake Erie. The wind farm is called Icebreaker Wind and will supply electricity to Cleveland, Ohio.

The interest in offshore wind projects in the United States is coming from companies from around the world. European renewable energy companies see significant promise in America’s offshore wind potential. Major international oil companies are also increasing their investment in renewable energy, including offshore wind projects. In my opinion, the United States will experience a major boom in offshore wind farms over the next decade. The outcome of the boom will be reliable, sustainable and cost effective energy that will not harm our environment.

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