US launches grid action plan for Atlantic offshore wind

The US has issued an action plan to bring electricity generated by offshore wind farms in the Atlantic to shore and to eventually build a grid network at sea.

The energy and interior departments made recommendations for short- and longer-term action in their jointly issued strategy.

To enable a full buildout of offshore wind, the departments recommended that before 2025:

  • Collaborative bodies should be established across the Atlantic coast region;
  • Some of the building blocks of transmission planning should be clarified, including updating reliability standards and identifying where offshore transmission may interconnect with the onshore grid; and
  • Costs should be addressed through parties volunteering to pay or applying for tax credits.

In the second half of the decade, the government recommended:

  • Federal officials should convene and coordinate with states to plan for an offshore transmission network;
  • They should also collaborate with the offshore wind industry to standardise requirements for high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) technology; and
  • They should work with federal and state agencies, tribal nations and other stakeholders to identify and prioritise transmission routes on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The government departments also recommended that a national HVDC testing and certification centre should be established between 2030 and 2040 to ensure compatibility when interconnecting multiple HVDC substations to form an offshore grid network.