FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Advances Offshore Wind Transmission, Strengthens Regional Supply Chain Buildout, and Drives Innovation

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President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing an American offshore wind industry that will create thousands of good-paying union jobs across the country, power millions of homes with clean electricity, and strengthen our energy security while reducing dangerous climate pollution. This week the Biden-Harris Administration is taking new steps to expand America’s offshore wind supply chain to benefit workers and communities, plan and build transmission infrastructure to connect projects to the grid, and advance innovation to reduce deployment barriers and lead on cutting-edge technologies.

American workers across manufacturing, shipbuilding, construction, and other sectors are building this new industry right now. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to use every tool available—including leveraging historic resources from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics—to bring the nation’s first major offshore wind projects online in the near-term and achieve the goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030.

To help unlock offshore wind opportunities for decades to come and support state goals for clean energy and economic development, the Administration’s newest steps include:

  • Securing East Coast Memorandum of Understanding on Offshore Wind Supply Chain Collaboration: Today, as part of ongoing efforts of the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership launched by President Biden, nine East Coast states and four federal agencies are announcing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen regional collaboration on offshore wind supply chain development. The MOU will help expand manufacturing facilities, port capabilities, workforce development, and other key supply chain elements in a coordinated and sustainable way. MOU efforts include:
    • The states of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island will develop sub-regional implementation plans to harness each other’s existing strengths, efficiently fill high-priority gaps, and advance economic development and environmental justice.
    • Federal agencies—the Departments of Energy, the Interior, Commerce, and Transportation—will provide technical support to the states and help develop a shared East Coast procurement and leasing timeline to facilitate greater alignment.
    • The MOU will encourage investment in multiple states to meet offshore wind goals, building on supply chain plans that are underway and improving coordination going forward, including through future solicitations. In particular, the MOU provides a path for states to incentivize the development of U.S. offshore wind vessels and U.S. steel production, helping support expansion of these industries and good-paying jobs across multiple regions.
    • States and federal agencies will collaborate on addressing supply chain needs for both fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind, including port infrastructure, and advance best practices for quality jobs and community benefits.
    • While this MOU focuses on coordination between East Coast states, which have the most advanced offshore wind projects in the country and have helped spur initial U.S. supply chain development, the benefits are expected to be national in scope. This MOU supports broader efforts of the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership to fill national supply chain gaps identified in the U.S. Offshore Wind Supply Chain Roadmap, which can unlock tens of thousands of good-paying jobs throughout the country. 
  • Launching Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Action Plan: Earlier this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a comprehensive action plan to connect the first generation of Atlantic offshore wind projects to the electric grid and increase transmission over the next several decades. This plan lays out steps to collaborate across jurisdictions on transmission planning, technological development, economic support, and siting and permitting. Informed by a series of stakeholder convenings and an ongoing study of buildout scenarios, these actions will help guide cost-effective transmission solutions, including network approaches to connect multiple projects to shore. In direct response to Tribal input, DOE is launching a new Tribal Nation Technical Assistance Program for Offshore Wind Transmission, offering education and training resources to support Tribal engagement. This program and the overall action plan are funded in part by the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Funding Wind Energy Innovation Projects: Today, DOE is announcing three sets of selections for a combined $72 million support a range of wind energy research and technology development areas. DOE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office selected 13 projects to receive a combined $30 million to innovate manufacturing processes for wind turbine equipment, such as using 3D printing to make large turbine blades. AMMTO also announced $15 million for a project to innovate domestic production of large, metallic components for offshore and onshore wind energy and hydropower that will reduce costs and completion time. DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office awarded $27 million from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support 15 projects to lower costs and address deployment barriers across both offshore and land-based wind. Among these awards, four projects will advance high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technologies for offshore wind, including by developing innovative controls and standards and supporting workforce training needs. Five projects will support offshore wind social science research, including efforts to build capacity for affected communities to better participate in and benefit from offshore wind development—furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing offshore wind in a way that promotes ocean co-use, protects biodiversity, and provides local economic opportunities.

The Administration’s latest steps will help drive long-term growth across the American offshore wind industry—which President Biden has jumpstarted by taking decisive action across a multi-prong offshore wind strategy. The Biden-Harris Administration has already approved four commercial-scale offshore wind projects and remains on track to complete reviews of at least 16 offshore wind project plans by 2025, representing more than 27 gigawatts of clean energy. Just last week, DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed environmental review for a fifth proposed project, with more on the horizon.

In just the last year, since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, investments in the U.S. offshore wind industry have increased by $7.7 billion, and the number of companies looking to support this supply chain has risen 54% to 4,100 companies across all 50 states.

Source: The White House