US launches east coast offshore cooperation


Nine US east coast states and four federal government agencies have signed an agreement to strengthen regional collaboration on offshore wind supply chain development.

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, 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 under way and improving coordination going forward, including through future solicitations.

In particular, the MoU provides a path for states to incentivise the development of US offshore wind vessels and US steel production, helping support expansion of these industries and create 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 US supply chain development, the benefits are expected to be national in scope.

Founder and chief executive of the Business Network for Offshore Wind Liz Burdock said: “State collaboration is the key to unleashing the full potential of a domestic supply chain; the Network congratulates the Biden-Harris Administration and all of the east coast states in coming together on this shared goal.

“We’ve spent a decade working to facilitate these partnerships, and today’s action marks a significant milestone in fostering this collaboration.

“Up to now, states have done the heavy lifting to seed our emerging supply chain and the time is right to maximize the US market’s attractiveness by driving regional collaboration.

“Building partnerships between states will foster more investments in new manufacturing facilities and strengthen existing projects, leading to more job growth and a more robust domestic supply chain needed to build the offshore wind industry and hit the nation’s clean energy goals.”