Offshore Wind and Equity: State of the States Report
Vero Bourg-Meyer & Sam Schacht | Clean Energy States Alliance
This report provides an overview of how states with offshore wind potential have begun to include and operationalize principles of equity in their offshore wind policies and related economic development programs. States, local communities, and other stakeholders can use this report to learn about options to incorporate equity provisions into state offshore wind policies and programs.
“This report is the result of several months of work and collaboration with states,” said CESA Project Director and lead author Vero Bourg-Meyer. “It is the first time that this information has been compiled and organized thematically across offshore wind states, and we hope that it will prove useful to advance the public discourse on equity and track policy development in this space over time.”
Over the next decade, offshore wind power will become a major source of electricity for the United States, fundamentally reshaping the nation’s energy supply. State governments will play a major role in shaping an entirely new energy source and the economy of coastal states as a whole. Although the United States has built only 42 megawatts of operational offshore wind power so far, states had procured 17,597 megawatts of offshore wind power as of spring 2022, most of which is scheduled to come online over the next decade.
The development of this large-scale energy infrastructure has the potential to impact already marginalized communities, including environmental justice communities, low-income communities, and communities of color, in both positive and negative ways. For that reason alone, careful integration of equity principles into all facets of the market development is necessary. Many states now consider equity an important pillar of their energy policy, and several have begun to incorporate principles of equity into various parts of the planning process for the development of the offshore wind market in their states.