‘Two steps forward, two steps back’ for US offshore wind in Q3

Despite some big setbacks, the US offshore wind industry is also headed toward achieving major milestones in Q3 2023 – here’s what happened.

The US’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind farms, Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind, progressed with construction and are on the brink of delivering their first power to the grid, noted the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s US Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report, released today. That’s a really big deal for the US.

Meanwhile, the pipeline of US projects approved for construction has tripled in size up to 2.7 gigawatts (GW), with more projects just weeks away from achieving final approval themselves.

The third quarter saw California move closer to offshore wind deployment with new authority to buy power generation, and New England states made a plan to collaborate. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island announced this month that they would band together to procure offshore wind power, in the face of higher interest rates and rising equipment and labor costs, in order to make projects viable.

Those financial headwinds have resulted in three projects totaling 3.2 GW officially announcing that their contracts are terminated. Each project is going to attempt to secure a new contract in upcoming state procurement rounds.  

Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said:

The US offshore wind market felt its growing pains over the past quarter, taking two steps forward and two steps back. 

Building up a new industry was always going to include challenges and setbacks; right now we must remain diligent in our work to build a sustainable industry and supply chain.

Beyond the headlines, we saw important advancements in our permitting process, state collaboration, and continued supply chain development that will lay the foundation for long-term market strength.

Read more: Here’s how US offshore wind could play out by 2050

Photo: Vineyard Wind 1

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