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 of Mar. 23

AWEA is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We’re working to understand the virus’ impact on the U.S. wind industry and global supply chains, and our focus remains protecting American jobs and our workforce. We will continue to keep you updated with information on this fluid situation. More information and resources can be found here.

AWEA files comments on proposed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reform

AWEA recently filed comments on the Council for Environmental Quality's proposed reforms for environmental reviews under NEPA. The comments support several of the procedural efficiencies, including presumptive time and page limits for NEPA documents, and enhanced use of categorical exclusions. The comments also argue that federal agencies have a duty to include a robust discussion of the impacts related to federal authorizations on greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, climate change.

AWEA files comments on proposed Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) incidental take rule

AWEA recently filed comments on the Department of Interior's proposed rule to codify the Solicitor's office's legal opinion concluding MBTA's prohibitions apply only to actions directed at (i.e., intentional take of) migratory birds and does not apply to incidental take. Without taking a position on the proposal, our comments state that regardless of whether it is finalized, AWEA anticipates that our members will continue their practice of adhering to the Wind Energy Guidelines to provide conservation benefits to migratory birds.

BOEM funding letter - House

Last week, Rep. Rice (D-NY) submitted to the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee a letter advocating for funding BOEM's renewable energy program at no less than $26.5 million, the level the President's FY21 budget requests. Sixteen Members of Congress, including one Republican (Rep. Timmons of South Carolina), cosigned this letter.

Offshore Wind Transmission Comment Request

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) issued a Request for Comment on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission on January 15. Written stakeholder comments submitted in response to the request are available here. DOER and MassCEC also hosted a technical conference on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission in Boston on March 3. Materials from the conference are available here.

This week, DOER announced a Second Request for Comment on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission to allow stakeholders to respond to the first round of written comments and the discussion at the technical conference. All interested stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to provide written comments to Marian Swain (marian.swain@mass.gov) by April 21.

Maryland PSC Offshore Wind Application - Round 2 Submission Round 2

On Friday, March 20. 2020, Maryland PSC opened Round 2 of its Offshore Wind Solicitation. The portal for the submission can be found here.

AWEA Wind Standards Call for Participation

The AWEA Wind Standards Committees and Subordinate Groups play an important role in helping develop standards for the wind energy industry. Standards play an important role in everyday life. Standards help speed acceptance, bring products to market quicker, and avoid having to reinvent the wheel every time a product is manufactured. Participation in committees and subordinate groups is open to all materially affected parties. Here are the following offshore groups:

1. Offshore Wind Subcommittee of the WTSC and the Offshore Wind Working Groups: Floating Offshore, Geotech and Geophysical Offshore, Metocean Offshore, OCRP 2012 Maintenance Offshore, Submarine Cables Offshore Working Group.
2. Offshore Safety Subcommittee of the WEHSSC
3. Offshore Safety Training Subcommittee of the WEHSSC

Click here for descriptions for all committees and subordinate groups. Contact standards@awea.org if you would like to participate.

Week of Mar. 16

AWEA files comments on US Coast Guard's draft MARIPARS report

On March 16th, AWEA filed comments in response to the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) draft Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Route Study (MARIPARS). AWEA's comments support the USCG recommendations, including the recommendation that no additional routing measures are needed with a standard and uniform grid pattern with at least three lines of orientation and standard spacing. AWEA agrees the evidence in the draft report demonstrates that this pattern, orientation and spacing safely accommodate vessel transits, traditional fishing operations and search and rescue operations in the MA/RI areas. AWEA also strongly urged the USCG to finalize the MARIPARS consistent with the draft report as soon as possible. And, AWEA urged that the recommendations on pattern, orientation and spacing in the draft MARIPARS not become default recommendations applied to all other offshore wind lease areas.

AWEA files comments on NOAA RFI on Efficient Permitting of Ocean Research, Mapping, and Characterizing Activities

On February 10th, NOAA, on behalf of the Ocean Policy Committee, Ocean Resource Management Subcommittee, OSTP and CEQ, filed a notice of request for information from the public on the permitting process for ocean research, mapping, and characterization activities. On March 12th, AWEA filed comments, which highlight opportunities that are aligned with ongoing Administration actions to streamline and improve decision-making within and across BOEM and coordinating agencies: NOAA, EPA, Army Corps, and several others in addition to associated state and local permitting and authorizing agencies. AWEA's recommendations focus on four main points:

1. amount of survey activity for offshore wind development;
2. intra-and interagency coordination;
3. integration of new technology and tools for surveys and for the permitting framework; and
4. realignment of government resources to support growing demand of survey efforts from growth of the wind industry.

The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the President's DOI budget request

Rep. Lowenthal (D-CA) lamented the existence of no offshore wind farms erected in federal waters and voiced support for building projects. Rep. Graves (R-LA) said that there is significant potential for wind in the U.S. and wants to help convert potential into reality, when possible. BOEM Director, Walter Cruickshank discussed the opportunities for offshore wind and BOEM's existing workload regarding lease processing, permit issuance, and COP reviews. He also offered an overview of the Vineyard project and recently updated timeline for the supplemental EIS release. Click here to read more.

Offshore Wind Transmission Comment Request

DOER and MassCEC issued a Request for Comment on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission on January 15, 2020. Written stakeholder comments submitted in response to the request are available here. DOER and MassCEC also hosted a technical conference on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission in Boston on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Materials from the conference are available here.

DOER is issuing a Second Request for Comment on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission to allow stakeholders to respond to the first round of written comments and the discussion at the technical conference.

All interested stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to provide written comments to Marian Swain (marian.swain@mass.gov) by Tuesday, April 21, 2020. If you have any questions, please email marian.swain@mass.gov.

AWEA California moderates panel on West Coast offshore wind

On Wednesday March 11, AWEA-CA's Danielle Osborn Mills moderated a panel on offshore wind during the monthly Power Association of Northern California luncheon. Tyler Studds, Offshore Wind Development Project Manager for EDPR, and Matthew Marshall, Executive Director of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, participated in the discussion around global, state, and local opportunities for offshore wind. Participants included roughly 50 energy policy practitioners, consultants, utility, and agency staff, who had a number of questions about the challenges and opportunities presented by floating offshore wind, as well as near-term actions to move the industry forward.

AWEA California testifies on planning for offshore wind

On Thursday March 12, Danielle Osborn Mills testified on offshore wind during a hearing of the Joint Committee on Fisheries & Aquaculture in the California legislature. Her presentation focused on the need for statewide planning to bring the industry to scale, and emphasized opportunities for stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Week of Mar. 9

AWEA releases US Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment

The report provides an overview of the potential jobs and economic impact that will accompany the growth of the U.S. offshore wind market. It projects that offshore wind project development, construction, and operations will support up to 83,000 jobs and $25 billion per year in economic output by 2030. Market projections anticipate between 20,000 to 30,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity will be operational by 20301, representing between $28 – $57 billion of investment in the U.S. economy. This report assesses the economic impact potential of the offshore wind industry over the next decade. Download the full report here.

AWEA launches new offshore wind advocacy site

On March 11th, AWEA launched the #Support Offshore Wind campaign and website. The site features the newly released U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment, as well as video testimonials from Gulf Coast marine workers who all had a hand in building the Block Island Wind Farm and are eager to take their skills and apply them to working in the offshore wind industry. Watch the full video here and look for the individual cuts on AWEA social channels.

CLEANPOWER early bird deadline

Registration remains open and plans are still underway for CLEANPOWER 2020. The early bird deadline has been extended to April 10, 2020. We hope this allows you to plan your trip to Denver this June with confidence. In addition to an Offshore Pavilion on the exhibition show floor, the event will feature dedicated educational content including the following sessions:

 - Precon: Floating Offshore Wind: The Future of Offshore Wind is HERE with Commercial Deployments
 - Offshore Wind - Moving the Needle Together with Onshore Wind
 - Contextualizing State-Level Offshore Wind Procurement Policies in the United States
 - OEM Outlook for Wind, Solar, & Storage - What's Next?
 - Tactics Employed and Lessons Learned from Offshore Drilling Fight

Register here.

AWEA-California pushes for 10 GW offshore wind goal

AWEA-California pushes for 10 GW offshore wind goal: AWEA-California is working with Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to draft legislation calling for a 10 GW by 2040 offshore wind statewide planning effort. The California team is working to build a coalition of support from environmental groups and labor advocates and hopes to see California realize offshore wind’s potential economic and environmental benefits as it transitions to 100% clean energy.

Acting Director Cruickshank testified on BOEM budget

On Tuesday, March 10th, Walter Cruickshank, the Acting Director of Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on the FY21 Budget for BOEM. Cruickshank spoke on a number of issues including the cumulative impact analysis for offshore wind projects. The full testimony is available here.

This week, DOER announced a Second Request for Comment on Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission to allow stakeholders to respond to the first round of written comments and the discussion at the technical conference. All interested stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to provide written comments to Marian Swain (marian.swain@mass.gov) by April 21.

Virginia Clean Economy Act sent to Governor

Senate Bill 851, the Virginia Clean Economy Act, passed the Senate 22-17 on March 6 and will be sent to Governor Northam for his signature. This is a huge step forward for renewable energy in the south and for offshore wind. The bill sets a strong RPS and a carbon-free date of 2045. It also includes 5,200 MW of offshore wind. AWEA, members, and regional partner MAREC Action advocated for this bill by meeting with legislators and stakeholders to gain consensus. AWEA also provided economic benefit projections and activated grassroots in the state.

New Jersey releases offshore wind solicitation schedule

On March 6th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposed a series of five solicitations for offshore wind energy proposals. The first solicitation would be initiated by September 2020 with four additional through 2029. New Jersey's goal for installed offshore wind energy capacity is 7,500 MW by 2035.

Week of Mar. 2

OMS Presentations Available for Download

Last week's AWEA Wind Project O&M and Safety Conference brought together industry professionals to identify and solve unique challenges in the health & safety, O&M, workforce training & development, and quality assurance sectors. Popular Offshore sessions included "Offshore Logistics and the impact on OPEX and your O&M Setup" and "Offshore Wind Safety: Navigating the Regulatory Regime." Presentations are available for download in the AWEA bookstore here.

Massachusetts Holds Offshore Transmission Technical Conference

Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) convened a technical conference exploring the state's options for offshore transmission in relation to its planned offshore wind solicitations. State law requires solicitation of a further 1600 MW of offshore wind (in addition to the 1600 MW already procured), and DOER has the statutory ability to separately solicit proposals for offshore transmission. DOER staff indicated that there would be a second comment period, but did not provide details on potential timing for any upcoming solicitations.

More information can be found here.

Offshore pavilion at CLEANPOWER 2020

Offshore wind is still a young industry in the U.S., but that's rapidly changing. Interest has exploded in the three years since the Block Island Wind Farm became the first U.S. offshore wind project to come online. In addition to dedicated Offshore education content, CLEANPOWER 2020 will feature an Offshore Pavilion. This space on the show floor will be dedicated to those focused on and working in the Offshore sector. Book a booth here.


View past AWEA offshore wind updates

View past Offshore Wind Weekly issues


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.
  • CLEANPOWER 2020: The momentum for offshore wind continues leading into AWEA’s CLEANPOWER Conference & Exhibition, taking place June 1 – 4 in Denver. The event will include a pre-conference seminar about the offshore floating market opportunities on the horizon, as well as sessions that focus on key, strategic issues that impact the pan renewable community. Join us for CLEANPOWER 2020, where all the major developers, utilities, OEMs, suppliers and buyers converge under one roof.
  • Floating Offshore Wind Pre-Conference Seminar at CLEANPOWER 2020Attendees will learn about the latest technology, policy and regulatory developments that are facilitating the development of floating offshore wind projects.
  • 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.