ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rising Power Of U.S. Ocean Wind
Policymaker support key to offshore wind prospects in US; Huge price drops attract global developers but they need policy follow-through
Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 30, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The viability of U.S. offshore wind has grown since this story ran.
Offshore wind is not yet easy to build in the United States. But the question is no longer if a boom will happen, industry stakeholders told Utility Dive, it is when and how it will happen. Policy follow-through will be a critical component, along with improving economics and other factors. There were 111 operating offshore wind projects around the world at the end of 2016. Those projects represented 12,913 MW of installed capacity. Though only 30 of those MW are in U.S. waters, the world’s biggest developers are setting up U.S. shops and the U.S. pipeline is starting to bulge, according to the annual offshore wind market report…
The 593 offshore wind projects in the global development pipeline at the end of 2016 represented an estimated 231,000 MW of potential capacity. The U.S. project development pipeline included 28 projects, representing 24,135 MW of potential capacity. That’s 10% of the global action in a U.S. market that is barely open. There are two key reasons the offshore wind industry is coming to America. First, winning bid prices in the world's offshore wind market auctions have dropped to about $65/MWh for 2024 to 2025 completion of development projects. With those falling prices, the U.S. East Coast market is too attractive to not pursue, according to Jason Folsom who heads offshore wind in the Americas region for Siemens-Gamesa, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine manufacturer. The second reason is new state policies spreading across New England and Mid-Atlantic states… click here for more
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