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Offshore Wind progressing in the US

Posted By Bahzad Ayoub, 05 June 2017

Despite last Thursday's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by President Trump, plans for the US offshore wind sector are already taking shape. According to the RenewableUK project database, the US currently has the potential to have over 7.7GW of offshore wind if all projects are commissioned. Offshore wind projects in the country are owned by a mixture of companies, ranging from large renewable energy developers, fund management companies, to smaller independent renewable companies. This mix illustrates the depth of interest that is being shown in the US offshore wind industry and its potential growth.

US Portfolio by Owner Share (MW)

 Source: RenewableUK Project Intelligence

The above chart shows the current ownership shares in US offshore wind projects based on the project’s capacity in MW. DONG Energy has the highest ownership share, with a total of 2,450MW. DONG Energy’s total share is made up by two projects, the 1,950MW Ocean Wind farm and the 500MW Bay State Wind farm, and has begun undertaking site surveys for both projects, awarding Lloyd’s Register contracts in May 2017.

Lloyd’s Register will utilise its specialist expertise in its Maine-based subsidiary, SGC Engineering, to support DONG Energy on its evaluation phase of the Bay State project with its offshore site and export cable route geophysical and hydrographic surveys. A second contract will support further offshore survey work of the Bay State Wind project. As the world largest holder of offshore wind assets and the largest offshore wind company in the US, DONG’s position further strengthens the prospects for the growth of offshore wind in the country.

US Offshore Wind Projects (MW)

Source: RenewableUK Project Intelligence

The above chart shows the current portfolio of offshore wind projects in the US and the total generation potential of each project. Although there are many projects that are 1GW or above, the focus in the offshore wind sector is currently on projects below 500MW. The first offshore wind farm in the United States, the 30MW, 5 turbine Block Island Wind Farm became fully operational in December 2016. The energy produced from the Block Island Wind Farm is linked to the New England grid by National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.

The next two projects which have made the most progress is Deepwater Wind’s 120MW Skipjack project and US Wind’s 248MW Maryland offshore wind farm. On the 11th May, both projects secured offshore renewable energy credits from the state of Maryland which equated to a levelised price of $131.93 per megawatt-hour for a term of 20 years. Funding will begin in January 2021 for US Wind and in 2023 for Deepwater. US Wind’s Maryland project, consisting of Siemens 4MW or GE 6MW technology, is expected to start operation in November 2022. Deepwater’s 15 turbine Skipjack project is based on Siemens 8MW hardware and expected online in November 2022. 

Company level members of RenewableUK can explore the U.S. and global portfolios, contract awards and forecasts for offshore wind projects with our Project Intelligence Hub

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