U.S. Commerce Secretary Announces Efforts to Advance Offshore Wind Power
5 Apr, 2021
In a roundtable meeting convened by the White House last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced two new initiatives that will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals by harnessing the economic potential of offshore wind power generation to combat the climate crisis and create more clean energy jobs.
“These actions illustrate the Department’s commitment to innovative partnerships to advance the best science and data that will ensure the development of offshore wind is transparent and inclusive of all stakeholders,” said Secretary Raimondo. “We look forward to working across the public and private sectors to invest in clean energy solutions, like offshore wind, that will contribute to our whole-of-government approach to combat the climate emergency and create high-paying, high-skilled American jobs.”
The Commerce Department, along with the Departments of Interior and Energy, are announcing a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the United States by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity. It will also generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes for a year and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has entered a memorandum of agreement with Ørsted Wind Power North America LLC, an offshore wind development company to share physical and biological data in Ørsted-leased waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction. NOAA anticipates that Ørsted’s data will fill gaps in ocean mapping and observing to help NOAA better understand weather, climate and ocean processes and build resilient coastal communities and economies. As part of the agreement, NOAA will also share its publicly available data with Ørsted. Together, this information sharing will be used to ensure that offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure are developed, deployed, and maintained effectively. The Memorandum is the first of its kind between an offshore wind developer and NOAA – and paves the way for similar data-sharing agreements with other offshore wind developers.
NOAA’s Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is announcing over $1 million in research funding to improve understanding of offshore renewable energy interactions with fishing and coastal communities in order to optimize ocean co-use. With a focus on advancing community and economic resilience, the funding opportunity aims to catalyze proactive socio-economic and technology research for offshore renewable energy planning in the Northeast, for the benefit of a variety of stakeholders.
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