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State of the States’ Offshore Wind Deployment

State Activites MapMost coastal U.S. states have progressed beyond debating the merits of offshore wind. Their combined efforts are marching America toward a need for a developed offshore wind supply chain. 2016 is seeing some states progress more than others but the business opportunities remain abundant. Below is a second quarter update on States with offshore activity.


MAINE

May, 2016
The University of Maine’s semi-submersible floating offshore wind design Aqua Ventus received an additional $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to finalize the design. The UME is also the location of a brand new wind and wave tank for testing many types of naval architecture technologies, including offshore wind designs.


MASSACHUSETTS

June 29, 2017
Massachusetts Issues RFP for OSW Projects

On June 29, Massachusetts’ state investor-owned electric distribution companies in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources released the RFP for 400 MW of offshore wind generation (including RECs) and the associated transmission near Martha’s Vineyard. The contracts are for a 15-20 year period. The projects must enter commercial operations before January 1, 2027. So far, three companies–DONG Energy, Vineyard Wind and Deepwater–are preparing to bid on supply contracts for Massachusetts utilities that were mandated by the state.

Read the RFP here.

July 6, 2016
Massachusetts OSW Moves Forward

Last Friday, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a comprehensive energy bill that will require utilities to procure 2,000 MW of offshore wind. A companion bill passed the House of Delegates in Massachusetts earlier last month requiring a 1,200 MW procurement. The two bills will now move to conference and a compromise bill is expected to emerge. The final bill could be sent to Governor Baker for his signature and enactment by the end of July.

This is what media said about the bill:

Wind-power developers want legislators to mandate the purchase of 2,000 megawatts over a decade, enough to power roughly 1.6 million households. Building the infrastructure to deliver that capacity would cost about $10 billion, said Tom Harries, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It also would give developers their first chance to build the farms on a massive scale outside Europe and Asia, in a region where powerful ocean winds and high energy prices would provide a key proving ground.
“This bill would be the last piece of the puzzle to get the industry going,” said Thomas Brostrom, general manager of North America for Dong Energy A/S, the world’s largest offshore wind developer.”

Read more here:
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20160505/NEWS/160509626

May, 2016
Activity and interest is underway with the state’s two lease areas; one controlled by Offshore MW LLC (166,886 acres) and the other by DONG Energy, which took over the lease previously held by RES Americas (187,523 acres). RES Americas continues to have involvement in a supporting role to DONG Energy. Geophysical contract work is expected to be announced in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Further, state legislation that would promote offshore wind energy with annual solicitations and associated long-term off-taker contracts is being considered. Massachusetts has the potential to initiate the first state-based offshore wind pipeline. This bill is expected to move forward in July 2016.


RHODE ISLAND

May, 2016
Rhode Island is making history. Deepwater Wind is expected to have the first offshore wind farm with five 6MW wind turbines in state water off Block Island. Project completion is expected this year which will be a landmark for the industry and equally important, an advance in local infrastructure. Block Island will be connected to a new substation, as well as connected to the mainland’s power grid – a first for the U.S. – as Block Island will generate more power than it needs. Cabling is occurring this month (cable laying prep, connection to the inter-ray cables; jet plough to bury the cable 6 feet deep) and should be finished in June or July. The turbines will be installed in July and GE currently has employed more than 100 people to outfit the towers. The nacelles will be transported from France and the project should be commissioned in October.


NEW YORK

July 6, 2016
A coalition of 60 organizations submitted a letter to Gov. Cuomo calling for 5GW of offshore wind power.

May 19, 2016
A group of New York State senators is urging the government to include an offshore wind tier in the forthcoming Clean Energy Standard. The state Public Service Commission (PSC) is developing a large-scale renewable program to help New York meet a 50% by 2030 renewables mandate. Twenty senators asked for a separate offshore wind carve-out in a letter to governor Andrew Cuomo and the head of the PSC. “For the sake of our climate, our economy and New York’s working families, it’s time to move forward this year with a comprehensive offshore wind program,” said the legislators. The commission is expected to present the new Clean Energy Standard in June. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has projected that offshore wind could meet 13% of New York’s total energy demand by 2030.

In the meantime, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing to move ahead with a commercial lease auction for a 33,000-hectare lease area south of Long Island. Several developers have expressed interest in pursuing projects in the zone, which is based on a 700MW proposal by the New York Power Authority in 2011. BOEM plans to issue a proposed sale notice later this year.

May, 2016
On April 28th, BOEM held a New York Renewable Energy Task Force meeting in New York to discuss the upcoming lease auction for the Wind Energy Area off Long Island. BOEM stated that it is on an accelerated track and aims to have the auction before the end of 2016. On May 5, BOEM received comments and feedback from the Taskforce and will issue a second RFI to reaffirm developer interest and capture any interest from new developers. This will lead to a Proposed Sales Notice. Offshore wind developers attending the meeting included Deepwater Wind, Dong Energy, Fishermen’s Energy, Magellan Wind, Con Edison Company and Statoil. BOEM expects to hold Environment Assessment public meetings in late June 2016.

As a state with high-energy prices and a large concentration of populations along the coast, New York understands it is prime for a clean energy solution like offshore wind, therefore the State is making the path to offshore wind accessible. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is expected to submit a blueprint to the NY Department of Public Service that is likely to include a list of reports aimed to help developers ‘de-risk’ OSW projects. The timing of the reports is expected to dovetail with BOEM’s steps leading up to the NY lease. Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the “New York Offshore Wind Master Plan,” a tactical blueprint outlining the effort to get the state to reach its goal of 50% dependency on renewable energies by 2030. Significant funding to advance the efforts of relevant environmental projects and programs is expected.


NEW JERSEY

May, 2016
Last year’s auction for two lease areas in federal water resulted in the south area (160,480 acres) won by RES Americas and the north lease area (183,353 acres) won by U.S. Wind. On May 19th, US BOEM will hold the next New Jersey Intergovernmental Task Force meeting in Trenton, New Jersey from 12:50-3:30pm. BOEM will discuss the overview of commercial leases and next steps. Both US Wind and ResAmericas will make presentations. A public question and answer session will begin shortly after the Task Force meeting adjourns.

Fishermen’s Energy’s 25MW, five-turbine wind farm continues to move forward despite delays.


MARYLAND

May, 2016
Developer U.S. Wind, having completed the necessary geophysical and geotechnical surveys in June, 2015, submitted its site assessment plan (SAP) on time to BOEM with operational blueprints expected to follow later this year. U.S. Wind submitted its Offshore Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) application to the Maryland Public Service Commission in late February 201 and is planning to install a fixed-bottom metrological mast by summer 2016.

With the receipt of the initial application for a proposed offshore wind project, the Maryland Public Service Commission has now opened a 180-day application period for any other developers of offshore wind projects off the Maryland coast. This application period begins on February 25, 2016 and, unless extended, ends at the close of business on August 23, 2016. Any party interested in submitting an application for an offshore wind project is encouraged to visit the dedicated website (www.marylandoffshorewind.com) hosted by the Commission’s consultant, Levitan and Associates, Inc. The website includes information necessary to complete the application process, as well as links to questions and answers, applicable regulations, statutes and authorizing legislation.


VIRGINIA

May, 2016
Dominion Power, the developer constructing two turbines with a 6MW capacity 24 nautical miles off Virginia’s coast, re-bid the solicitations for different parts of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). The solicitations were for: a) transportation, erection and installation of the inward battered guide structure foundations and wind turbine generators; b) final design, manufacture, transportation, installation, horizontal directional drilling and termination of the export and inter-array cables; and c) foundation fabrication, onshore interconnection station equipment and installation, along with updated estimates for instrumentation, commissioning, and project management. Dominion has received bids for the VOWTAP project with a total lower cost than the prior response and is in discussion with US DoE on an grant extension. Upon moving forward, Dominon plans to file a letter of intent with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for regulatory review of the project. As a regulated utility in Virginia, Dominion has to take all projects of this size to the SCC for approval.


NORTH CAROLINA

May, 2016
Following the completed work for North Carolina’s geological, ecological and ‘conflict-of-use’ investigations, North Carolina was poised to have a significant potential lease area of 195 whole and 60 partial ocean lease blocks. April 2016 witnessed a bold move by BOEM, which may reflect North Carolina’s cautiously slow approach for advancing offshore wind development. The auction process may be delayed as North Carolina’s State Department of Environment and Quality recently cited concern for the coast’s “viewsheds” as well as the potential disruption of the lifecycles of both migratory and stationary animals, BOEM made a bold move to put part of the identified area into the South Carolina lease blocks. South Carolina, once considered to have the largest U.S. area being made available for offshore wind development is likely to have only the 22,400-acre Kitty Hawk area available for its offshore wind development.


SOUTH CAROLINA

May, 2016
BOEM had identified four areas in total for offshore wind areas off South Carolina. U.S. Wind and Fishermen’s Energy put their names next to the Grand Strand zone. Fishermen’s also nominated the Cape Romain, Winyah and Charleston call areas. BOEM is reviewing the developers’ qualifications to determine if it will proceed with a competitive or non-competitive lease process as well as preparing an environmental assessment for the call areas. Interesting new developments include the 51,600-acre Wilmington West and 133,600-acre Wilmington East tracts of the North Carolina offshore wind area, which border the much larger 628,000-acre Grand Strand lease area in South Carolina which have been realigned into South Carolina. On May 17th, the North and South Carolina task forces will merge to take over planning and analysis. Continue to watch this space!


GEORGIA

May, 2016
Georgia Power applied for three leases offshore to conduct wind viability tests. One area was rejected due to national defense, but two remained. With these, the intention was to measure wind speeds at various altitudes with LIDAR light detection and ranging data. Originally, if data revealed viable wind off the Georgia coast, there were aspirations to add this clean energy generation to its portfolio in the 2020s. These plans continue to have a stalled status.


CALIFORNIA

JULY 6, 2016
BOEM is processing one unsolicited commercial floating wind lease request offshore of California. The announcement from PG&E regarding the closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025 and the utility’s commitment to replace the plant’s 2GW of power generation with new greenhouse gas-free energy along with CA’s 50% Renewal Portfolio Standard that creates a need for 6GW of wind power to complement solar, offshore wind in CA is a viable possibility for inclusion in the energy mix. The CA Energy Commission is moving forward with their offshore wind task force and check in with the Network to find out the latest.

Read more here:
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article84993992.html#storylink=cpy

May, 2016
Floating offshore wind technologies are being considered for the deeper waters found in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf. US BOEM received and reviewed an unsolicited lease request from Trident Winds, LLC for a floating wind energy project offshore from Morro Bay, California, and is expected to shortly issue a Federal Register Notice to determine any competitive interest.

The Trident project could contribute 800MW of nameplate capacity consisting of ~100 floating foundations, possibly using large 8MW wind turbines. Further, BOEM is processing an unsolicited lease request for a proposed floating wind demonstration project offshore of Coos Bay, Oregon involving three 6.0-8.0MW floating wind turbine turbines, anchored to the seafloor in 1,200 to 1,600 feet of water.


OREGON

May, 2016
US BOEM is processing an unsolicited lease request for a proposed floating wind demonstration project offshore of Coos Bay, Oregon. The project would consist of up to three 6.0-8.0MW wind turbine generators mounted on floating foundations, anchored to the seafloor in 1,200 to 1,600 feet water depth.


OHIO

May, 2016
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) continues to support and drive offshore wind in the Great Lakes, primarily in Lake Erie. Norway-based Fred Olsen Renewables has joined a specialized team formed by LEEDCo to develop a foundation and turbine installation strategy that is adapted to the specific environmental and commercial needs of Lake Erie and its freshwater conditions. The wind farm known as “Project Icebreaker,” will connect the Lake Erie wind turbines to the Cleveland power grid. The DOE funded LEEDCo in 2012 with $4 million, and in 2014 provided an additional $3 million for engineering the initial phase of six turbines situated eight miles north of Cleveland in Lake Erie. Lake Erie has tremendous potential of several thousand megawatts.


HAWAII

July 6, 2016
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to gauge the offshore wind industry’s interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in two areas spanning approximately 485,000 acres of submerged lands in federal waters offshore Oahu. The Call also solicits public comment on site conditions, resources and other uses in and near those areas.

May, 2016
Interests in Hawaii remains strong as BOEM is processing three unsolicited lease requests for offshore wind energy development off the island of Oahu. Two projects are proposed by AW Hawaii Wind, LLC (AWH), while the other is proposed by Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind, Inc. (Progression). Each of the proposed projects would yield approximately 400MW from wind turbines on floating platforms in water depths ranging from approximately 950 to 3,200 feet. The fourth task force meeting in Hawaii is scheduled for May 16, 2016 at 9:00am with the venue to be determined. (More information here). Hawaii is expected to accelerate its involvement with offshore wind with announcements as soon as this summer.

IPF Agenda Is Posted

Offshore Wind Partnering Forum
October 2-5, 2016
Newport, Rhode Island

As the U.S. celebrates its first offshore wind project this summer, the world’s most experienced offshore wind companies, offshore wind developers and U.S.-based supply chain companies will join at the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s Third Annual International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF), Oct 2-5th in Newport, Rhode Island to discuss bringing the offshore wind industry to commercial scale. With more than 79 technical presentations and more than 14 built-in partnering events, the IPF is regarded as the most comprehensive and specialized offshore wind event in the U.S. Presentations will cover: understanding developers’ procurement processes; explaining the U.S. market and how to do business in the U.S.; transferable concepts from the oil and gas sector; grid connections; rethinking foundations and substructures for the U.S. market; working with and under the Jones Act; industry trends and many more.

The 2016 IPF agenda is the most robust and substantive in the U.S. offshore wind industry – filled with knowledgeable leaders such as The Carbon Trust, UK Green Investment Bank, U.S Department of Energy, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, PJM Interconnection, U.S. Wind, DONG Energy, GE, Siemens and innovators such as Facebook and NASA. The Forum is jammed packed with timely market intelligence from the people who are developing and establishing the U.S. offshore wind industry. This year, the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) will discuss in detail its soon to be released 2016 National Offshore Wind Strategy.

“We see a great opportunity to develop an offshore wind industry on the east coast. The International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum provides an opportunity to discuss what the industry needs to do to make the industry work here. In addition, the quality agenda and timely discussions on market intelligence make this something not to miss, ” says Thomas Brostrøm, DONG Energy.

The event is expected to attract 350-400 participants from the U.S., Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom and Asia. “The Business Network for Offshore Wind is not only best situated to host the 2016 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Newport, RI, it’s also the only organization that can guarantee the attendance of the right players in this rapidly growing U.S. market. You can be assured that this Forum is run by the only organization whose sole focus is offshore wind energy and with it, the support and participation of developers and hundreds of supply chain member companies. Don’t miss out on this unique chance for unparalleled access to the leading players at this year’s 2016 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Newport, Rhode Island,” says Paul Rich, U.S. Wind.

The IPF places an emphasis on creating partnerships and delivers more than 14 opportunities for personal networking and connecting businesses through WindMatch sessions, a chance for individuals to sit down one-on-one with other leaders in the industry. The event is intentionally kept at a manageable size to facilitate networking and business connections, which often lead to business transactions both in and out of the offshore wind industry.

The Forum also injects U.S. innovation into the global offshore wind dialogue, while highlighting European expertise. The event sparks ideas, offers differing approaches and presents unique perspectives on planning, constructing, and maintaining an offshore wind project. “The United States has led the world in innovation, and this event facilitates the insertion of new ideas into the global offshore wind industry, helping drive down costs. This year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC) is hosting an internal technology competition to promote commercialization of technologies in the areas of offshore wind, advanced manufacturing and UAVs. The winners will be featured in an exclusive workshop panel,” said Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind (Network). “The United States will follow some European practices to plan, construct and maintain its offshore wind projects, but it will not completely copy the European offshore wind industry model, creating opportunities for innovation in all sectors of the supply chain. For that reason, the Network heavily promotes innovation and the use of technologies from all sectors to reduce costs.”

This year, the IPF will spotlight the first U.S. offshore wind project being built off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, with a tour of the project on Atlantic Wind Transfers, a Network Member. During the tour, participants will hear directly from Network members such as GE, LM Windpower, and Northeast Carpenters, who are constructing and installing the project. Participants must be registered for the IPF to attend the tour. Space is further limited to the first 125 participants due to boat capacity.

The IPF is sponsored by U.S. Wind, DONG Energy, Aeolus Energy, GE, LM Wind Power, Meggitt, Sabik Offshore GmbH, Siemens, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, Apex Companies, LLC and Ventower Industries. Partners include Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative (MOWII). Supporting partners include U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM), US Department of Energy (USDOE), US Department of Commerce (USDOC), U.S. Trade and Development Association (USTDA), United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), Friends of the Supergrid, NREL, State of Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and Fishermen’s Energy.

For more information, visit the Forum’s website at www.2016ipf.com

State of the U.S. States’ OSW Deployment – update

Most coastal U.S. states have progressed beyond debating the merits of offshore wind. Their combined efforts are marching America toward a need for a developed offshore wind supply chain. 2016 is seeing some states progress more than others but the business opportunities remain abundant. Click here for a second quarter update on States with offshore activity.

NREL 2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report

In August, the DOE released a report covering the status of the operating offshore wind farms over the course of 2016. Using this information, the DOE also analyzes the status of the 593 offshore wind pipeline and assesses “domestic developments and events through the second quarter of 2017 to provide a more up-to-date discussion of this dynamically evolving industry.”

The report found that costs for offshore wind are decreasing as technology and public support for offshore wind advances. Read the report here.

More Jobs for Marylanders Act

During the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session, the cornerstone of Governor Larry Hogan’s Job’s Initiative passed with unanimous support, a bill that takes an important step in incentivizing and encouraging manufacturers to create jobs in the areas of the state that need them most. Under More Jobs for Marylanders Act of 2017, incentives are offered for 10 years for the creation of family-supporting wages and workforce development programs. The incentives include income tax credits, property tax credits, a sales tax refund and exemption from SDAT corporate filing fees. Statewide, manufacturers are eligible for income tax benefits.

Manufacturers located in jurisdictions with highest unemployment rates are provided increased benefit in Tier 1. These counties are defined in statute as Qualified Distressed Counties—Allegany, Dorchester, Somerset, Worcester Counties and Baltimore City, as outlined by Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data. Commerce designated three additional Tier 1 counties: Baltimore, Prince George’s and Washington.

More Jobs for Marylanders benefits manufacturing activities in all jurisdictions by allowing faster depreciation of new capital investments, thereby freeing up capital more rapidly for companies to hire new employees and reinvest in their business operations.

morejobsMDmap

WHAT THE LAW DOES

Provides attractive tax incentives tied to job creation for a 10-year period

  • New businesses in Tier 1 jurisdictions receive a refundable State income tax credit (5.75% of the wage per new position); State Property Tax Credit ($0.112 per $100 assessed or 0.112%); refund of Sales and Use Tax; and waiver of SDAT fees for the creation of 5 or more new jobs.
  • Existing businesses in Tier 1 and Tier 2 jurisdictions receive a refundable State income tax credit of 5.75% of wage per new position, for the creation of 5 new jobs and 10 new jobs, respectfully.

Encourages additional investment in new equipment through accelerated and bonus
depreciation

  • Recouples Maryland to Federal International Revenue Code Section 179 and 168(k).
  • Frees up capital more rapidly for companies to apply to upgrading facilities, hiring employees and spurring growth.
  • Most effective with small manufacturers that need capital to reinvest in their businesses.
  • Levels playing field with neighboring states: Virginia and Delaware.
  • Applicable for equipment put into service for tax years beginning after December 31, 2018.

Strengthens Maryland’s Workforce

  • $1 million for Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ), providing matching grants to manufacturers that provide incumbent worker training programs.
  • $1 million for Workforce Development Scholarships to eligible students enrolled in job training programs at community colleges.
  • $1,000 income tax credit, per apprentice, for manufacturers that employ eligible apprentices.
  • Additional measures to encourage high schools to provide increased vocational training programs.

20th Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO

By: Lizzie Barminski

The Network exhibited and presented offshore wind on Capitol Hill during the Sustainable Energy Coalition’s 20th Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Expo (July 11).  The event was an opportunity for renewable energy and energy efficiency industries to provide updates and information to Members of Congress, their staff and the public.

Key Congressional Representatives – Sen. Ed Markey (MA), Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY), and Rep. Ryan Costello (PA) – spoke at the event, voicing their support for the renewable energy industry and continued research and education.

Following his speech, Markey shared his enthusiasm with the exhibitors. He emphasized the importance of renewable energy and encouraged the exhibitors to continue researching and improving technology.

Tonko urged the industry members to remain resilient in the current political atmosphere as he elaborated on the efforts he is making in Congress to protect renewable energy.

Tonko also spent time talking with the Network’s representative, Ross Tyler, who shared the need for U.S. businesses to help construct our nation’s offshore wind farms but also to enter the global offshore wind supply chain.

Ross Tyler shared in the Renewable Energy panel where he was the only speaker who covered the offshore wind industry. He discussed the current status of the U.S. offshore wind industry and elaborated on the benefits of offshore wind, including the downward trend in offshore wind generated electricity and its economic development benefits. Tyler iterated the prediction that by 2020, the global supply chain will have a value of a $144 billion of which the Network’s members should have a significant role.

DONG Energy to construct 12 MW of offshore wind energy off Virginia Beach coast

RICHMOND, Va. – As part of its ongoing commitment to bring cleaner energy to its customers, Dominion Energy Virginia is moving forward on the mid-Atlantic’s first offshore wind project in a federal lease area.

It has signed an agreement and strategic partnership with DONG Energy of Denmark, a global leader in offshore wind development, to build two 6-megawatt turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies will now begin refining agreements for engineering, procurement and construction. Dominion Energy remains the sole owner of the project.

Engineering and development work on the newly named Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is expected to begin immediately by DONG Energy to support the targeted installation by the end of 2020.

The timing for construction depends on many factors such as weather and protected species migration patterns.

The project is an important first step toward offshore wind development for Virginia and the United States.

It would be only the second offshore wind project in the nation and the first owned by an electric utility company. Along with clean energy, it will provide Dominion Energy with valuable experience in managing offshore wind resources.

“Virginia is now positioned to be a leader in developing more renewable energy thanks to the Commonwealth’s committed leadership and DONG’s unrivaled expertise in building offshore wind farms,” said Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “While we have faced many technological challenges and even more doubters as we advanced this project, we have been steadfast in our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve.”

“Today marks the first step in what I expect to be the deployment of hundreds of wind turbines off Virginia’s coast that will further diversify our energy production portfolio, create thousands of jobs, and reduce carbon emissions in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “Hampton Roads has the ideal port assets and talented workforce to attract and house the offshore wind business supply chain to support not only Virginia’s commercial wind area, but also wind farms under development in Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland. Today’s announcement advances our efforts to build a new Virginia economy that is cleaner, stronger, and more diverse.”

“DONG Energy is the energy supplier in Europe that has come the farthest in the transition to renewable energy, and we are excited to bring our expertise to America,” said Samuel Leupold, executive vice president and CEO of Wind Power at DONG Energy.  “This project will provide us vital experience in constructing an offshore wind project in the United States and serve as a stepping stone to a larger commercial-scale partnership between our companies in the future. We see the tremendous potential in the Mid-Atlantic for emission-free, renewable wind generation and we are excited to help the Commonwealth in reaping the benefits of wind power.”

This phase one development of two wind turbines will be built approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach on a 2,135-acre site leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

The project opens the door to long-term commercial wind development. It will provide the critical operational, weather and environmental experience needed for large-scale development in the adjacent 112,800-acre site leased by Dominion Energy from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Full deployment could generate up to 2,000 megawatts of energy – enough to power half a million homes.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding which gives DONG Energy exclusive rights to discuss a strategic partnership with Dominion Energy about developing the commercial site based on successful deployment of the initial test turbines.

The project continues what previously was called the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Assessment Project (VOWTAP). Dominion Energy began work on the project in 2011 as part of a Department of Energy grant to develop and test new wind technologies that could lower the cost and withstand hurricanes. During that time key achievements were made to advance the project including: Approval of the Research Activities Plan by BOEM and environmental studies, which included avian and bat surveys, as well as assessments of ocean currents, archeological conditions, and whale migration patterns.

Massachusetts RFP for Long-Term Contracts for OSW Projects

Click here for the Massachusetts RFP for offshore wind project contracts.

State Announces Request for Proposals for EARN Maryland Targeting Cybersecurity and Green Industries

BALTIMORE, MD (June 29, 2017) – Today, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced a Solicitation for Implementation Grant Proposals for the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland initiative.  As a result of Governor Hogan’s substantial investment into the program, this opportunity seeks to fund Strategic Industry Partnerships targeting the cybersecurity and green industries. For the purpose of this Solicitation, green is defined as any industry that is affected by, or related to Tier 1 of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Program, which includes Solar, Wind, Qualifying Biomass, Methane from a landfill or wastewater treatment plant, Geothermal, Ocean, Fuel Cell that produces electricity from a Tier 1 source, Hydroelectric power plants of less than 30 MW capacity, Poultry litter-to-energy, Waste-to-energy and Refuse-derived fuel. Proposals will be due on September 12 and awards will be announced in October.

EARN Maryland is an innovative, industry-led initiative that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while helping prepare Marylanders for meaningful careers. The program, which has been recognized as a national best practice in workforce development, awards funding to Strategic Industry Partnerships comprised of employers, non-profits, higher education, local workforce development boards, and local governments.

Under Governor Larry Hogan’s leadership, the funding for this initiative has doubled, with an added $4 million dollars for cyber and green training in FY18. Awards provide funding to start or maintain partnerships comprised of at least five employer partners who provide employment and training opportunities to Maryland’s workforce.

“This added investment is another example of our administration’s commitment to helping businesses grow and putting Marylanders back to work,” said Governor Hogan. “The cybersecurity and renewable energy industries are vital components of our thriving economy, and initiatives like the EARN program will ensure that Maryland continues to be at the forefront of innovation.”

“The Department is grateful for Governor Hogan’s significant investment into EARN Maryland,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Schulz. “Growing this nationally-recognized program is a win-win – employers will benefit from a more highly-skilled workforce while providing Marylanders the skills and credentials necessary to obtain in-demand jobs.”

For more information about EARN Maryland and for a link to the Solicitation for Implementation Grant Proposals, please visit: http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/earn/.

Analysis of PSC Order

In its Order, the Maryland Public Service Commission found that both projects, the US Wind 248 MW project, and the Skipjack 120 MW project, satisfied the offshore wind statute, subject to numerous conditions, some of which are discussed below. The Commission explained that they chose the “all-in” approach which “signals to our neighbors and the world that Maryland is ready to serve as a regional hub and a substantial base for additional offshore wind development up and down the East Coast, thus, yielding sustained job growth for many years to come.”

The Order noted the argument by the Business Network that “selection of both projects provides greater competition and opportunities for Maryland businesses to participate in the development of the projects, and is likely to yield the lowest cost to ratepayers.” Furthermore, the PSC was persuaded by arguments by the Business Network that the Commission should not wait until costs decrease before approving a project since “part of cost reduction comes from competition and efficiencies from a maturing supply chain, which will not develop in Maryland without a project off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula.”

The Commission also noted the “overwhelming support for an offshore wind project from citizens, businesses, and public officials,” and categorized this proceeding, after looking at the evidence, not as whether or not to approve a project, but how to do it. Several areas in the Order, the Commission mentioned its strong belief in the projects providing economic and environmental benefits, and that approving both projects are in the public interest.

The PSC stated in the Order that “we accept as a condition to our Order the recommendation made by the Business Network that each Applicant use a port facility in Baltimore to serve as the marshaling port, and further, that each Applicant use a port facility in Ocean City to serve as the O&M port.” In addition, the Commission noted that “US Wind has pledged a $51 million investment in a steel fabrication plant and $26.4 million worth of upgrades at the Tradepoint Atlantic shipyard (also known as Sparrows Point), and Skipjack has factored in an expected $25 million investment in a Maryland steel fabrication facility.” The Commission adopted those proposals as conditions, and also required Skipjack to invest $13.2 million in upgrades to Tradepoint Atlantic or a similar Maryland port.

Each developer is required to put $6M in the Offshore Wind  Business Development Fund for a total of $12M. Out of the $12M — $2M is required to be deposited 60 days after an order is signed by each developer totaling $4M.

While finding that the projects both satisfy the offshore wind act regarding the positive net economic benefits each would generate, the Commission requires that US Wind spend a minimum of 19% its total project development and construction costs in-State, which is $291.6 million with current projections, and Skipjack spend a minimum of 34% its total project development and construction costs in-State, which is $204.8 million with current projections. Any shortfall shall be deposited into the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund to provide financial assistance to emerging State businesses.

In regard to MBE participation, the PSC stated that “To the extent that any MBE participation goals or procedures developed later in consultation with GOMA and the OAG exceed those voluntarily developed by the Applicants, any more stringent item shall supersede the MBE goals or procedures described in the applicable Application and adopted through this Order. Additionally, every six months following issuance of this Order, the Applicants shall each file with the Commission a progress report regarding the establishment and implementation of MBE goals and procedures. Lastly, US Wind and Skipjack are directed to execute a memorandum of understanding with the Commission in which each Applicant agrees to make serious, good faith efforts to interview minority investors in any future attempts to raise venture capital or to attract new investors to its respective project.”

In regards to the viewshed impacts, the Commission will “require US Wind to locate its 248 MW proposed OSW project in the eastern-most portion of the Maryland WEA that could reasonably and practicably accommodate the project, so as to reduce visual impacts on the State’s coastal communities.” In a footnote, the PSC stated: “We recognize that additional costs will be incurred as a result of this condition, but do not authorize US Wind to recover such costs beyond the funding provided through the OREC price schedule established by this Order. Thus, US Wind may consider such costs in its determination of what constitutes “reasonably and practicably accommodate the Project”; although, we note that US Wind has committed to minimizing the viewscape impacts and engaging in a transparent manner with stakeholders.

While the Commission did not accept Atlantic Grid’s proposal to unbundle the transmission from the projects as a condition of the Order, the PSC states that in no way should be misconstrued as a prohibition. It rather leaves it up to the developers to decide if they would want to work with Atlantic Grid to accept this innovative proposal.
Finally, the Commission accepted Skipjacks price of gross levelized OREC price of $131.93/MWh to both Applicants, which is $5.13 less than US Wind proposed.  In addition, the Commission accepted Skipjack’s proposal to pass 80% of cost savings of construction-related capital expenditures onto ratepayers to both Applicants.

European Interest in US Offshore Wind Market Heightens at Largest Offshore Wind Conference

By Ross Tyler

The Business Network for Offshore Wind attended the largest offshore wind conference for the year held in London, UK. The conference was organized by RenewableUK and the European Wind Energy Association. The three-day event consisted of panel presentations, two enormous  halls with exhibition stands and side events as well as social networking gatherings, some hosted by the conference organizers and others by specific companies.

While many of the conference participants were European, there was a strong international presence with delegations from Asia (China and Taiwan) along with U.S. Network members. The  Network staff met with many familiar European companies that in the past may have attended one of its International Partnering Forum events, along with many companies that are active within the European offshore wind supply chain. The conference mood towards U.S. offshore wind market held a distinct change: the earlier curiosity along with the ‘wait and see’ approach has now been replaced to one of seeking strategic participation. This enthusiasm was reflected in a panel that included U.S. Department of Energy Director Jose Zayas and Network member Siemens, where the audience was estimated to have numbered 350. This contrasts with a sponsored side-event that Network representative Ross Tyler organized 10 years ago (before the Network existed) at the same conference in Berlin, where only 4 individuals attended with vague interest in the U.S. market.

Network Director Liz Burdock was invited by Scottish Development International to provide a lunchtime briefing on the progress and advancement of the U.S. market. Existing and new contacts within the offshore wind business community made it clear that the US is a target market for the second half of 2017. The company profiles that expressed this interest ranged from turbine suppliers, EPC contractors, developers, foundation fabricators, to small software imaging providers for enhanced sub-sea inspection. The Network’s U.S. members can expect introductions to new European company members seeking relationships and potential commercial partnerships for the expanding U.S. market.

New Jersey Gubernatorial Primaries: Good News for Offshore Wind

By: William O’Hearn

On June 6, the winners of New Jersey’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries emerged to face off this November in the race to succeed Chris Christie on January 16, 2018.

Fortunately, both winners committed to supporting offshore wind during the campaign.

Phil Murphy, the former Ambassador to Germany, won the Democratic primary, 48% to 22% over Jim Johnson. Murphy’s campaign included a robust commitment to 3500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power 1.3 million homes. He also released a plan calling for all of New Jersey’s energy to come from clean sources by 2050.

On the Republican side, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno won 47% to 31% over Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. Guadagno did not offer a specific commitment for offshore wind energy, but she offered clear support for the industry in New Jersey. Like Murphy, and unlike the current administration, Guadagno would have New Jersey rejoin the RGGI regional cap and trade system with the other nine northeastern states currently in the program.

As the race now turns to the general election in November, Murphy currently leads in early polls by 56% to 22%, although nearly half of the respondents said they did not know enough about either candidate. Democrats are expected to maintain large majorities in both the Assembly and Senate.

Offshore Wind Keeps Rolling as State, Local and Business Leaders Declare that “We Are Still In” the Paris Agreement

“Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.” – Former President Barack Obama

“The bulk of the decisions which drive U.S. climate action in the aggregate are made by cities, states, businesses, and civil society. Collectively, these actors remain committed to the Paris accord.” – Michael Bloomberg

“As we expected, the President pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on June 1,” said Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

Fortunately, we have already seen 13 states sign on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, and more than 1,200 universities, businesses and mayors have sent a letter to the United Nations affirming their commitment to the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28% from 2005 levels.

The trend toward renewable energy is based on business opportunities and economics, not regulation, said Burdock, and the federal withdrawal will not do much to halt that progress. “In our sector of offshore wind energy, we know that Maryland’s commitment to financing 368 MW (megawatts) will remain intact, Massachusetts will move forward with their large-scale procurement of offshore wind, and New York’s plan to achieve 2,400 MW is secure.”

“In New Jersey, both parties’ candidates for governor have expressed their support for offshore wind energy, and we already have commitments from two offshore leaseholders for well over

1,000 MW of electricity, which will mean thousands of jobs in the state for many years to come,” said Burdock. She noted that New Jersey’s support of the offshore wind industry will be essential for the state to hit its goals for renewable energy and emissions reductions.

Burdock added that as a sports fan she sees the federal government as a key player who has left the field for an injury but will return. “In the meantime, all of the other players step up to fill that gap, so that when the star player gets back on the field, the team is stronger than ever.”

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