After years of high hopes but little development, the U.S. offshore wind industry finally seems poised for growth following a series of major offshore project announcements this year. In May and June, the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut selected a combined 1,400 MW of offshore wind projects for contract negotiation. When complete, they’ll generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes and help the states meet their clean energy and climate goals. The projects are all the more noteworthy given that there is currently just a single, small offshore wind farm operating in U.S. waters.
Guest Jim Bennett heads the Office of Renewable Energy Programs at the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and is the individual charged with overseeing the federal government’s involvement in developing the United States’ offshore renewable energy resources. Bennett offers his insights into what’s driving recent investment in U.S. offshore wind energy, the challenges to offshore wind development, and the potential for the offshore industry to become a vital, economically competitive source of clean electricity.
Also featured is Brandon Burke, an attorney, offshore wind researcher, and soon-to-be master’s graduate from the University of Pennsylvania.