Secretary Chu notes, “The United States has tremendous untapped clean energy resources, and it is important for us to develop technologies that will allow us to utilize those resources in ways that are economically viable. Today’s announcement of awards to the first offshore wind projects in the U.S. paves the way to a cleaner, more sustainable and more diverse domestic energy portfolio that develops every source of American energy.”
Offshore wind is a largely untapped energy resource for the United States, offering more than 4,000 gigawatts of domestic electricity potential, four times the nation’s current total generation capacity.
According to a new report commissioned by the DOE, a United States offshore wind industry could support up to 200,000 manufacturing, construction, operation, and supply chain jobs across the country and drive over $70 billion in annual investments by 2030. The DOE believes offshore wind represents an economic and energy opportunity that could mirror the success of land-based wind development.
According to the DOE, “Last year, land-based wind power represented 32 percent of all new electric capacity additions in the U.S., accounting for $14 billion in new investment. Nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at those U.S. wind farms – including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears and generators – is now from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35 percent in 2005.”
To continue the growth of the United States’ wind energy production and component manufacturing, the Obama Administration has urged Congress to extend successful clean energy tax credits like the Production Tax Credit (PTC).
In the initial phase, each project will receive up to $4 million to complete the engineering, design, and permitting phase of this award. The Department will select up to three of these projects for follow-on phases that focus on siting, construction and installation, and aim to achieve commercial operation by 2017. These projects will receive up to $47 million each over four years, subject to Congressional appropriations.