What a Week for Offshore Wind Energy

With all eyes on infrastructure legislation this week in DC, it might have been easy to miss some of the big developments in the offshore wind energy industry. But at ACP, we were excited to witness and be a part of key moments that will help strengthen wind energy, meet climate targets, and create good-paying American jobs nationwide.

In North Carolina, we saw the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) start the review for the state’s first offshore wind project. Comprising nearly 70 turbines more than 25 miles offshore, the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area is expected to generate up to 2,500 megawatts – enough energy to power 700,000 homes. This initiative will not only help create construction and manufacturing jobs in North Carolina; it will also support businesses throughout the country.

BOEM also made news in California, where the bureau advanced a Call for Information and Nominations for the two Morro Bay Call Areas off the coast of central California and designated the Humboldt Wind Energy Area off the coast of northern California. Developing these areas, which would support about 3 gigawatts and about 1.6 gigawatts of floating offshore wind, respectively, will mean planning and leasing for new technology and working closely with the many stakeholders in the state. This exciting announcement brings offshore wind in California one step closer to reality.

Projects like Kitty Hawk in North Carolina and Morrow Bay and Humboldt in California are critical to the Biden Administration’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. They provide exciting opportunities for clean energy development and economic growth. They also require and deserve support from Congress.

That’s the message I brought to the House of Representatives yesterday, when I had the honor of speaking alongside Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind and Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope. In my testimony, I told Congress that the domestic offshore wind market and supply chain will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and unlock billions of dollars of investment. I made clear that these investments will help us meet our climate and economic goals.

And I asked Congress to support these investments by creating incentives for facilities, equipment, vessels, and domestic production, updating trade policy, leveraging complimentary financing pathways, and funding the kind of research and development we need in order to meet this exciting moment.

Already, we’re seeing the offshore wind industry’s impact. This week, ACP released our first Clean Power Annual report, which showed that early-development offshore wind investments in the US now top $2.9 billion – with much more on the way. These continuing investments have the potential to produce tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, along with enough clean energy to power millions of homes.

This is truly a historic time for the offshore wind industry. We are making extraordinary progress and taking exciting steps forward. And there is much, much more to come.


Heather ZichalChief Executive Officer ceo@cleanpower.org