Offshore Wind Accelerator Project (OWAP)
Offshore wind presents one of the country’s most significant renewable energy resources with the potential to transform the Atlantic Coast energy portfolio, create a new clean energy industry sector, meet aggressive state renewable energy policy goals, and reduce carbon emissions and ocean acidification at a significant scale.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that the total technical resource potential for offshore wind in the US is 2,058 GW. In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its commitment to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. The US Atlantic coast states have a cumulative target of nearly 39 GW by the mid 2030s. As of 2021, 45 MW of offshore wind has been installed off the coasts of Rhode Island and Virginia.
OWAP works to 1) engage states in information sharing and networking to advance regional cooperation, 2) promote equitable offshore wind development by working with frontline community-based organizations, and 3) communicate offshore wind developments to a wide range of stakeholders.
Through OWAP, the Clean Energy States Alliance is engaged in several offshore wind activities, including:
- Working with individual States to assist with the development of strategic, long-term policies to advance offshore wind in the U.S.
- Convening state energy offices and environmental agencies from the Northeast and Mid-States to cooperate and communicate on mutual topics of interest.
- Facilitating multi-state conversations around offshore wind policies and topics to identify potential areas for multi-state collaboration or cooperation.
- Communicating ideas, policy developments, and technical innovations through public webinars.
- Releasing the bimonthly OWAP Newsletter, featuring updates and success stories about policy, technology, and financing from the U.S. and around the globe.
- Working with leading European and UK policy makers to learn about the more established experience with offshore wind in those countries, and sharing those lessons with U.S. energy policy makers.
Equity Considerations for US Offshore Wind
This project investigates equity opportunities in offshore wind development. CESA is working with its member states to ensure that offshore wind development proceeds in an equitable and just manner, and that its multiple benefits extend to frontline communities and to low- to moderate-income households. Offshore wind has the potential to deliver ratepayer benefits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create well-paying long-term jobs, and replace polluting peak power plants. We will be working with and seeking input and advice from community-based organizations (CBOs) and environmental and social justice (ESJ) organizations to develop priority action items and a report that identifies the equity topics most salient to the CBO and ESJ groups.
OWAP is funded in part by private foundations that understand the critical importance of tapping the U.S.’s offshore wind energy potential to achieve the country’s clean energy, energy security, carbon reduction, and job creation goals. The project is seeking additional funding to support its work.
Photo courtesy Ørsted US Offshore Wind - Block Island Wind Farm.