Recently, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) hosted its first-ever Offshore Wind Subcommittee meeting. The group will serve as a forum for port officials and industry leaders to share best practices on building out offshore wind infrastructure and confer on federal funding policy for the critical port infrastructure that is necessary to create an American offshore wind industry.
“Ports and private enterprise are poised to provide a plethora of clean power by building offshore wind installations,” explained Chris Connor, AAPA President and CEO. “I congratulate and thank the members of our Offshore Wind Subcommittee for pioneering a socially and environmentally wise course for our industry, one that further diversifies our energy sources, that should serve as a model for others.”
Due to the large size of offshore wind components, manufacturing and marshaling facilities for the projects must be situated at ports. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, $8 billion in offshore wind-specific port infrastructure is needed to meet national offshore power goals. Studies estimate that offshore wind has the potential to create as many as 58,000 full-time jobs by 2030. The Subcommittee, which is a part of AAPA’s Environment Committee, is composed of port leaders from coast to coast who will make the decisions that shape the future of this industry.
The Subcommittee will be chaired by Gordon Carr, Executive Director, New Bedford Port Authority. Additional leadership includes Joe Riccio, Port Director, Port of Davisville; Chett Chiasson, Executive Director, Port Fourchon; Jade Davis, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Energy Policy, Port of Cleveland; Laurie Nelson-Cooley, Manager of Business Development, Port of Longview; and Walter Dinicola, Anchor QEA.
American Clean Power and Business Network for Offshore Wind are also partnering with AAPA and our members on this Subcommittee. As prominent advocacy and education organizations in the Offshore Wind Industry, these groups will exchange information with AAPA’s members and help amplify calls for public policy that will support the creation of American jobs and power at offshore wind farms. The coalition advocating for federal investment in offshore wind continues to grow.
"Meeting our national and state offshore wind deployment goals requires significant additional port capacity, and the Network is honored to work with the AAPA and other partners to ensure U.S. ports have the federal resources needed for expanding and retrofitting their operations to meet the industry’s unique requirements. Early and substantial federal efforts to increase capacity will accelerate offshore wind’s development, maximize job creation, and build a sustainable domestic supply chain. We commend the AAPA for convening ports interested in or already working in offshore wind and we look forward to continued collaborations focused on prioritizing the complex needs of offshore wind ports at this critical time for the industry’s development," said John Begala, Vice President of State and Federal Policy at the Business Network for Offshore Wind, a member organization focused solely on the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry and its supply chain.
“Port infrastructure is critical to accelerating a domestic offshore wind industry. Developers are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to port infrastructure, but DOE predicts that the US will need to invest $6 billion in ports and installation vessels to build 30GW of offshore wind by 2030. The American Clean Power Association looks forward to engaging with the American Association of Port Authorities and The Business Network for Offshore Wind to ensure this need can be met by leveraging both public and private dollars,” said JC Sandberg, Chief Advocacy Officer, American Clean Power Association.
This new Offshore Wind Subcommittee adds to the momentum of AAPA’s POWERS Program, where ports are already taking an active role in unleashing the economic and environmental potential of clean energy. Recently, AAPA announced its strong support of the bipartisan Hydrogen for Ports Act, recently reintroduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX), to support the adoption of hydrogen in the port industry.