RWE and US utility Entergy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly evaluate developing offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the MoU, RWE and Entergy agree to assess four key areas to define an optimal route-to-market including the market demand for carbon-free energy for customers of Entergy Louisiana, Entergy New Orleans, and Entergy Texas; resource economics; transmission analysis to ensure reliability; economic impacts extending to direct and indirect job creation; and curricula to prepare the workforce of the future.
Both companies share a common goal of meeting the demand for increased renewable energy while investing in economic development, according to the press release.
The Gulf of Mexico is next on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s offshore wind lease auction schedule with three lease areas proposed under the Pre-Sale Notice: a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other comprising 96,786 acres.
The region has gained momentum following Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ Climate Action Plan which includes a goal of 5 GW of offshore wind power by 2035.
In 2022, RWE in collaboration with Greater New Orleans, initiated a programme to accelerate the engagement of Louisiana’s supply chain to identify companies with transferable capabilities for offshore wind. Results from the collaboration are expected to be released later this year.
The company is expanding its offshore wind activities in the rapidly growing US market. Through two offshore wind lease auctions in 2022, namely in the New York Bight and California, RWE has secured sites with the potential to host a total of about 3.9 GW (pro rata RWE) installed capacity in offshore wind.
When it comes to Entergy, the company’s existing renewable resources will triple over the next three years, said the US utility firm, with plans for as much as 17 GW of renewable capacity by the end of 2031.