As more states vie for offshore wind projects, transmission remains a major obstacles.
- Apr 13, 2022 3:34 pm GMT
On land, transmission remains one of the hairiest obstacles between the U.S.—and other countries—and its goals of a renewable future. Transmission exemplifies the history of deferred maintenance in the U.S. energy system and stands as a final and stubborn vestige of our reliance on fossil fuel-sourced electricity.
As we move offshore, and conversations around offshore wind come to the fore, transmission remains a costly and somewhat prohibitive issue. In North Carolina, energy powerhouse Duke Energy is eyeing entry into the offshore wind market in an effort to meet the renewable revolution and North Carolina’s goals for carbon emissions and clean energy. Yet, the state has offered to put down no money in this effort toward offshore wind, and transmission alone creates cost obstacles.
Other east coast states committed to offshore wind, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia, are eyeing a $100 billion cost for a combined 28.5GW by 2035, an estimated $20 billion of that expense will be for transmission alone, according to a report from the Business Network for Offshore Wind advocacy group. The states have helped with this bill, committing to power purchase agreements that give a little more certainty to the projects’ return on investments. North Carolina will need to put its money where its governor’s pen is.
Yet, a looming issue remains: a forgotten Trump-era executive order for a 10-year moratorium on off-shore energy leases. That goes into effect in July this year, and would require Congress to overturn. The clock is ticking.
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