States continue to lead offshore wind push in the US

The first quarter of 2023 was marked by a flurry of state activity that is stimulating new manufacturing investments, according to a report by Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW).

The east coast is home to the US's first offshore wind farm, Block Island, and states in the area are raising targets (pic credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

This followed a year of federal action that drove the US offshore wind industry to what BOEM described as “unprecedented growth”.

BNOW’s latest US Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report highlights efforts by federal and state government from January to March 2023 and the resulting advancing of the US offshore wind industry towards its first commercial-scale wind projects.

State goals and targets rose by up 8% to 83.9GW in the quarter, the trade group said. During the same time period, state goals and target backed by legislation or regulators rose to 36.3GW.

BNOW cited the example of Maryland legislators recently passing a gamechanging new law, setting its offshore wind goal at 8,.5GW by 2031, quadrupling its target. New Jersey has a goal of 11GW by 2040. 

Massachusetts and New York are expected to follow soon with higher goals, predicted the report.

Four other east coast states -- New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut -- are setting the pace for investments with a cascade of new power procurement that could amount to an extra 10GW of offshore wind capacity, said the report.

New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island advanced their open procurement processes during the quarter, while Connecticut said it was laying the groundwork to open a new round.

On the west coast, BNOW also noted that partnerships with the Port of Long Beach, near Los Angeles, and a major San Diego shipyard, General Dynamics Nassco, are laying the groundwork to support the US’s first floating offshore wind market.

As part of the federal action that should boost offshore wind, BOEM cited the US Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) streamlining the wind permitting process as especially significant. The total of offshore wind projects awaiting final BOEM approval is now 12GW, according to the report.