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White Paper

Offshore Wind Transmission

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Brandon Burke's picture
Vice President for Policy & Regulatory Engagement Business Network for Offshore Wind

Brandon Burke joined the Business Network for Offshore Wind in 2019 as its Director of Policy & Outreach. He now serves as the Network's Vice President for Policy & Regulatory Engagement...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Mar 23, 2021 9:55 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-03 - Power Generation, click here for more

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The Business Network for Offshore Wind (Network) is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization exclusively devoted to developing the U.S. offshore wind industry and supply chain. As a result, the Network is uniquely positioned to speak with one leading voice for the U.S. offshore wind business community.

A key objective of many state-level OSW programs, and a central tenet of the Network’s mission, is to attract investment in U.S.-based OSW manufacturing facilities and related services. To realize this opportunity, investors and OSW developers must see a steady, predictable, and sustainable pipeline of OSW projects taking shape in the U.S. When the capacity of the existing onshore electricity grid is reached, and low-cost points of interconnection have been utilized, these grid/interconnection constraints could arrest the future growth of the U.S. OSW project pipeline.

The objective of this white paper is to outline grid and transmission recommendations to inform grid operators and U.S. policymakers in the many local, state, and federal regulatory bodies that possess some degree of regulatory responsibility for U.S. offshore wind development and electric transmission. A comprehensive document of this kind has not previously been produced, and it is incumbent upon the U.S. OSW industry to provide input and fill the gap. This white paper may not exhaustively answer every conceivable question now. Nonetheless, at a minimum, on behalf of the industry, we outlined and assessed policy options to facilitate the integration of no less than 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity into the electric grid by 2035.

The white paper was developed via a collaborative and iterative process that leveraged the depth and breadth of knowledge of the Network’s Grid and Transmission Working Group (G&T WG), a select group of participants drawn from the Business Network’s Leadership-level membership. The G&T WG was convened and facilitated on behalf of the Network by Fara Courtney, of Outer Harbor Consulting. To assist in finalizing the white paper, the Network retained nationally recognized transmission experts, Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin, of Grid Strategies LLC. Consensus-building is intended to be a central aim of this white paper process, but we recognize that opinions can – and will – diverge. With a vision of the deployment of 30 GW of offshore wind capacity in U.S. waters by 2035, we present this white paper.

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Thank Brandon for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 24, 2021

Thanks for sharing, Brandon-- I agree it looks like this type of comprehensive document could be of immense value for the U.S. offshore wind market. 

You note: 

A comprehensive document of this kind has not previously been produced, and it is incumbent upon the U.S. OSW industry to provide input and fill the gap.

Are you saying it's not been produced anywhere in the world, or just one for the U.S. and our specific situation of geographies, power markets, regulatory structures, etc.? Are there similar documentations completed elsewhere in the world where offshore wind is more completely implemented, and what can be learned/borrowed from those documents, if so? 

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Paul Korzeniowski on Apr 6, 2021

Unfortunately, it does seem like much of the US planning for offshore wind -- as well as other energy policies -- is short term, ad hoc rather than long term and strategic. IMO, the US could afford to be a bit lax when they were driving the world's economic engine, but China has become more of a global force since the turn of the millennium. They appear laser focused on improving their position, so more effective policy making seems much needed ASAP.  

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