Offshore wind presents one of the country’s most significant renewable energy resources with the potential to transform the Atlantic Coast energy portfolio, create a new clean energy industry sector, meet aggressive state renewable energy policy goals, and reduce carbon emissions and ocean acidification at a significant scale. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that the total technical resource potential for offshore wind in the US is 2,058 GW. As of 2018, states along the US Atlantic Coast have committed to developing 8GW. The first—and only—offshore wind installation in U.S. waters is the 30MW Block Island Wind Project by developer Deepwater Wind.
The Offshore Wind Accelerator Project (OWAP) has two main focuses: 1) work with states to help them in their efforts to advance offshore wind, and 2) engage in broad-ranging communication efforts about offshore wind news and developments.
OWAP is currently being managed by Clean Energy Group’s sister organization the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). For the most up-to-date resources and information, visit https://www.cesa.org/projects/accelerating-offshore-wind-owap/.
OWAP has led and coordinated several offshore wind initiatives over the last decade. These include:
- Managing the offshore wind component of the Northeast Wind Resource Center (NWRC), a U.S. Department of Energy-supported initiative to promote fact-based offshore wind information and support stakeholder outreach. The NWRC worked with Northeast states to advance offshore wind policy through multi-state dialogue and information exchange with a European advisory board. It also served the information needs of the region.
- Maintained the Offshore Wind Hub, a website providing open access to documents related to offshore wind policy, technology, economics, and siting. The site contains up-to-date information for all Atlantic coast states from Maine to Maryland. It is now managed by the University of Massachusetts.
- Helped coordinate a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a roadmap for multi-state cooperation on offshore wind development. The major participants in the project were the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (grant recipient), the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. This project is now funded by private donations and has expanded to include the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate, the Maryland Energy Administration, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.