The AWEA Offshore Wind Weekly is an e-brief that delivers timely, relevant news on the offshore wind industry, directly to your inbox every Thursday. It will cover updates on what work AWEA is doing on behalf of the offshore wind industry, top offshore news, current events and announcements.

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AWEA Updates

Week January 25

Vineyard Wind rescinds withdrawal of their construction and operations plan

On January 25th, Vineyard Wind notified BOEM that it had completed its technical review of its Construction and Operations Plan for Vineyard Wind 1. After determining that there were no changes to the COP resulting from the inclusion of the GE Haliade-X wind turbine generator in the final project design, Vineyard informed the agency that it was rescinding its December 2020 request to withdraw the COP, allowing the federal permitting process to resume. Further details can be found in Vineyard Wind's press release.

ACP statement on President Biden climate executive actions

On January 27, American Clean Power Association (ACP) issued a press release after President Biden took a series of actions regarding climate change and the U.S. economy.

"This is the whole-of-government approach to the climate crisis that is needed. President Biden's actions today — creating a climate task force to set in motion a governmentwide action plan for reducing emissions, directing all federal agencies to consider climate in their decision making, driving federal procurement to renewable energy, targeting federal lands and water for clean energy development, and accelerating the permitting of clean energy and transmission projects — will help deliver on his twin pledges to simultaneously rebuild the U.S. economy and address the threat of climate change.

American Clean Power applauds the Biden-Harris administration for launching this comprehensive approach to both efforts and we are committed to working closely with the administration as we invest in American communities, create American jobs, and rapidly reduce our country's greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the next decade, our nation's transition to majority renewable energy will be a cornerstone of building back better. Justice for disadvantaged communities and welcoming legacy energy workers into the clean power workforce are vital aspects of the success of the clean energy transition. Our industry is pleased to see both ideals at the center of this administration's energy and economic policy as we tackle these crucial issues together." — Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association (ACP)

Delaware RPS bill moving

The Delaware Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has stagnated with a 25 percent target that flatlines in 2026. ACP and regional partner MAREC have been actively supporting a bill, SB 33, from Senate Environmental and Energy Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Hansen. The measure modestly raises the RPS target to 40 percent by 2035. The Committee moved the bill out on January 19 and the Senate subsequently passed the bill on January 21. The bill has moved to the House and is expected to pass without significant further changes.

Massachusetts climate bill returns

On January 14, Governor Baker vetoed 2020's major Massachusetts climate legislation, S. 2995. The legislature passed the bill with a veto-proof majority but did not leave enough time in the session to override the Governor's pocket veto. Therefore, Sens. Michael Barrett and Rep. Thomas Golden have now refiled the bill with the hope of passing it quickly through the Assembly (again).

Some key provisions of the legislation:
  • Creates an additional 2,400 MW of procurement authority (section 91), requires those procurements be spaced no more than 18 months apart, which is up from 24 months (section 92), and requires the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in addition to Department of Energy Resources to review proposals to provide input on economic development benefits in proposals (section 93);
  • Boosts demand for renewable energy by raising the RPS by 3 percent each year for 2025-2029, ensuring that at least 40 percent of the state's electric power will be renewable by 2030 (Section 32); and
  • Authorizes, but does not require, the Department of Energy Resources to have distribution companies solicit and procure proposals for offshore wind energy transmission in amounts sufficient to deliver energy generation procurement mandated under the Green Communities Act (Section 95).

Governor Mills letter to commercial fishermen, webinar

On January 25th, Maine Governor Janet Mills issued a letter to all Maine commercial fishing license- holders on offshore wind and her commitment to working with the fishing industry. Governor Mills is proposing a ten year moratorium on new offshore wind projects in state waters and conducting a review of existing laws and policies related to state waters. In the letter to the fishermen, the Governor specifically calls out the economic and job creation benefits of offshore wind and makes clear that offshore wind will be coming to Maine waters.

The Governor's Energy Office is also hosting a public meeting titled Floating Offshore Wind Research Array Planning on February 5th to discuss details on floating technology, siting criteria, data, and research approach. Preregistration is required and can be found here.

NJBPU Hosting Offshore Wind Transmission Technical Conference

On January 27, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) announced they will host a technical conference on offshore wind transmission to further examine the risks associated with a potential separation of the generation and transmission throughout the development and operation phases of offshore wind development. NJBPU is asking parties that wish to participate in the conference as a panelist submit self-nominations by February 5th. NJBPU will also be accepting comments on the topics until March 12. Further information on registration, agenda, and instructions for submitting comments can be found here. Contact Joe DeLosa with any questions.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo releases 2021 agenda

On January 13, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew 2021 Agenda during his State of the State Address. The 2021 agenda includes several provisions of relevance to the renewable sector including: creation of the largest offshore wind program in the nation; infrastructure improvements and upgrades to several New York ports to facilitate the state's standing as a global offshore wind manufacturing leader; and a $2 billion "green energy superhighway" plan to build 250 miles of new transmission lines.

ACP issued a statement of support that applauded the Governor's forward-looking agenda that will harness the full suite of clean power technologies — offshore and land-based wind, along with solar, storage, and transmission — to create tens of thousands of jobs, generate billions in investments, and deliver more affordable, carbon-free electricity to communities across the state. Notably, Governor Cuomo shared ACP's statement in a retweet from his official Twitter handle.

UMass Amherst Offshore Wind Professional Certificate

Registration Open for the Spring 2021 Online Course: Environmental Impacts, Siting, Permitting, and Stakeholder Engagement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst's Department of Environmental Conservation, in association with the Clean Energy Extension, offers an online professional certificate in offshore wind, designed for professionals and graduate students seeking to up-skill and broaden their knowledge to prepare for the workforce needs of the offshore wind industry.

Registration is now open for the Spring 2021 semester course, ECO 611: Offshore Wind Energy — Environmental Impacts, Siting, Permitting, and Stakeholder Engagement. The course guides students through all aspects of the project development process, from the time project site has been identified, until construction is complete and the wind farm is operational.

The program is already receiving high praise, with one student noting that the certificate is providing "a well-rounded curriculum that is attainable to individuals of all backgrounds and experience levels." Another student commented: "The connections I made with my peers and guest speakers helped me grow my network."

The online, 3-course certificate can be completed in one year and covers a broad range of disciplines involved in the offshore wind energy industry, including technology and engineering, development and finance, supply chain management, marketing, environmental impacts, business logistics, law, and policy — and provides students exposure to industry experts, career/internship opportunities, and hands-on learning opportunities. Learn more here.

View past AWEA offshore wind updates

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Additional Resources

  • #SupportOffshoreWind Website:  In march of 2020, AWEA launched the #SupportOffshoreWind campaign. The website and social content features video testimonials from Gulf Coast marine workers who had a hand in building the Block Island Wind Farm and are eager to apply their skills to working in the offshore wind industry. 
  • U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment: This report details the once-in-a-generation opportunity that offshore wind can bring to the U.S. with up to 30,000 MW of capacity, 83,000 jobs, and $25 billion of annual economic activity by 2030. 
  • Economic Impact of U.S. Offshore Wind Power Fact Sheet: This 2 page fact sheet was created from the findings in the U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment.
  • WINDIQ: WindIQ is the authoritative source of U.S. wind project and manufacturing data. The interactive, online platform provides data, charts, and dashboards covering all operational, under construction, and advanced development wind energy projects. WindIQ now allows you to search specifically for offshore projects via the ‘Phase Type’ criteria. The map also shows the offshore location of the project.
  • Offshore Wind Energy Fact Sheet: U.S. offshore wind is taking shape in waters off the coast across the country. Learn more about the abundant potential of this new ocean energy resource. Updated December 2019.
  • Offshore 2019The 2019 AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Boston included nearly 1,300 attendees, 76 exhibitors, dozens of sessions featuring 160 industry leaders and experts, as well as hundreds of onsite business meetings between attending companies. The opportunities and excitement around the future of the U.S. offshore wind sector were undeniable. It was evident our industry is at the forefront of a new American energy source. ICYMI: Post conference report, the conference recordings, and event photos.
  • Offshore 2020Save the date for the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER 2020 Conference in New York City, October 13 - 14.