Louisiana is looking to set a target of 5GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035.
The state’s climate initiatives task force unanimously approved a new climate action plan, which included its first offshore wind target, earlier this month. The plan must now be approved by Louisiana’s public service commission.
If the target is to be reached, Louisiana must first prioritise strategic planning for offshore wind, including carrying out impact assessments and determining what the workforce needs, according to its action plan.
The state is also working with the US’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on holding an offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico in spring 2023. Developers would be able to take advantage of shallow waters and strong wind resources there, according to BOEM.
Leasing in state waters could follow a similar timeline, depending on interest, according to Harry Vorhoff, deputy director of the Louisiana governor’s office of coastal activities.
Louisiana will need to expand its grid infrastructure in order to facilitate offshore wind, according to the new action plan. It will first need to assess what its infrastructure needs are.
The climate initiatives task force noted that Louisiana companies were involved in the design, fabrication, and construction of the US’s first commercial offshore wind farm: the 30MW Block Island Block Island (30MW) OffshoreNew Shoreham, Rhode Island, USA, North America Click to see full details project. Therefore, Louisiana is “well positioned to be a manufacturing and servicing hub for offshore wind across the US”, it claimed.
Several US states have set offshore wind targets, while the US aims to have 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Some states have held lease auctions for sites in their waters, while others have progressed further and also awarded developers the right to build their wind farms and contracts to supply power from them.