(OW) Nine US East Coast states and four federal agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen regional collaboration on offshore wind supply chain development. In addition, the US Department of Energy (DOE) revealed that multiple projects received funding totalling USD 72 million to address wind energy deployment challenges.
According to a press release from the White House, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island will develop sub-regional implementation plans to harness each other’s existing strengths, fill high-priority gaps, and advance economic development and environmental justice.
Federal agencies – the Department of Energy (DOE), the Interior, Commerce, and Transportation – will provide technical support to the states and help develop a shared East Coast procurement and leasing timeline to facilitate greater alignment.
The MoU should encourage investment in multiple states to meet offshore wind goals, building on supply chain plans that are under way and improving coordination going forward, including through future solicitations.
In particular, the MoU provides a path for states to incentivise the development of US offshore wind vessels and US steel production, helping support the expansion of these industries and create jobs across multiple regions.
States and federal agencies are said to collaborate on addressing supply chain needs for both fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind, including port infrastructure, and advance best practices for quality jobs and community benefits.
While this MoU focuses on coordination between East Coast states, the benefits are expected to be national in scope, said the US Government.
Wind Innovation Projects Secure Financing
DOE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) selected 13 projects to receive a combined USD 30 million to innovate manufacturing processes for wind turbine equipment, such as using 3D printing to make large turbine blades.
AMMTO also revealed USD 15 million in funding for a project to innovate domestic production of large, metallic components for offshore and onshore wind energy and hydropower that could reduce costs and completion time.
DOE’s Wind Energy Technology Office awarded USD 27 million from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support 15 projects to lower costs and address deployment barriers across both offshore and land-based wind.
Among these awards, four projects will advance high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technologies for offshore wind, including developing innovative controls and standards and supporting workforce training needs.
Five projects will support offshore wind social science research, including efforts to build capacity for affected communities to better participate in and benefit from offshore wind development.
The Biden-Harris Administration has set a goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030