Things could soon get much windier in New York…
As you’d expect from the land that’s home to the city that never sleeps, now that New York has embraced wind power, it’s already making some impressive claims about wind’s future influence on the Empire State.
“New York intends to be the preeminent global hub for the next generation of the wind industry,” said New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at the recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore WINDPOWER Conference.
Around 1,000 people attended the conference, including many of the top European-based industry leaders, and state after state made big declarations regarding wind turbine manufacturer, design and installation.
Announcing New York’s ambitious goal to develop 2.4 GW of offshore wind, Hochul stated:
“Offshore wind is essential to meet New York’s ambitious energy goal and developing 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind will generate thousands of jobs in our state. We’re making unprecedented investments in infrastructure and laying the groundwork for the offshore wind industry, which is primed to benefit from New York’s talented, ambitious workforce. The economic and environmental benefits offshore wind will provide is a win-win for all New Yorkers.”
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The audience also heard from other states that are welcome converts to pro-wind farm thinking. New Jersey, New York and Maryland have all put in place policies aimed at capitalising on the opportunities within the wind industry. For example, New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy pledged 3.5 gigawatts by 2030, and Paul Rich, a developer in Maryland, told the Baltimore Sun, “This will be the Silicon Valley of industrial action for the offshore wind industry for the whole East Coast.”
But it's a challenge for the likes of Massachusetts which, around a decade ago, was the national leader in offshore wind energy when the ill-fated Cape Wind project was the big play everyone talked about. Now that its plug has been pulled, almost every significant European company is developing a plan to plant their flags somewhere along the East Coast—and the competition to knock Massachusetts off the top spot is growing.
Last year, Massachusetts created legislation that embraced energy diversity and advanced technologies, and was aimed at enabling the creation of 1.6 GW of offshore wind energy by 2027. The director of offshore wind for Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Bill White, sagely commented, “It’s not about any one state anymore, and we know that. But we’ll get our share.”
There’s abundant cooperation among the states that want to turn the dream of being the frontrunner of the next evolution in wind power into a reality. New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts released a report that estimates the Northeast could generate up to 8 GW through projects by 2030, providing enough power for four million homes, with 16,000 direct jobs and as many as 20,000 related jobs. Related: China's EV Plan Could Cause An Oil Price Crash
“You can feel the urgency to harness this new ocean energy resource coming from states and businesses competing to be first-movers,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Unlocking America’s vast offshore wind potential will reliably deliver large amounts of clean power, grow jobs, and cement American energy dominance.”
Currently in development: around a dozen offshore projects that represent more than 9.5 GW of installed energy. These developments—including the Trump-approved 1.5 GW Kitty Hawk offshore lease—makes up a further 9 GW. The Obama administration previously said it was realistic to believe that the U.S. could generate 86 GW of offshore wind power by 2050.
Thanks to technological advances, deep water projects have now opened up, ensuring that the cost of offshore wind power is now comparable with fossil fuels. The University of Delaware’s wind power expert, Stephanie McClellan, said, “I’m pretty close to shocked with all the cost-reduction developments we’re seeing by the Danish, the Dutch, the Germans... everything’s moving in the right direction.”
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