Report reveals offshore wind's value to US

UNITED STATES: Offshore wind is more valuable than onshore in the north-east US, according to a new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, funded by the US Department of Energy.

Offshore wind power is more valuable to the north-east US region than onshore, partly because it is closer to population centres, the report said
The study found the "market value" of offshore wind — looking at energy, capacity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) — is greatest off the coast of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The value of offshore wind ranges along the east coast, from $40/MWh to more than $110/MWh. It is lowest in the south-east.

The historical market value of offshore wind, using data from 2017 to 2016, would have exceeded that of onshore wind, said the researchers.

This is due to the proximity of offshore wind sites to major cities and because the timing of power produced is more correlated with demand.

Costs, however, are also higher. "Cost reductions that approximate those witnessed recently in Europe may be needed for US offshore wind to offer a credible long-term economic value proposition on a widespread basis," said the researchers.

So far, only one 30MW offshore project is operating off the US, Deepwater Wind's Block Island project.

However major projects, are being developed off Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

In mid-April, interior secretary Ryan Zinke announced a proposed competitive lease sale for two further areas off Massachusetts, totalling nearly 1,580 square kilometres.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also said it is seeking information and industry interest in offshore wind development within the New York Bight region, between Long Island and the New Jersey coast.