Making it happen: 2017, the year for US Offshore Wind

The first offshore turbines arrived off the coast of New England last year in the form of a $300m utility-scale scheme called Block Island. 

Now, new projects are starting to follow suit and the US Offshore Wind Industry is starting to gather pace.There is every reason to believe that the US will follow the same course as Europe and embrace offshore wind as part of a wider drive to decarbonize electricity generation.

For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has enacted a law that requires its utilities to buy 1.6GW of their energy from offshore sources by 2027. 

Now key stakeholders (governments, developers, banks, private financiers)are trying to decide how much and when to invest, the best partners to pick for a project’s specific requirements and which suppliers are needed to deliver these projects on time and within budget. 

Key barriers to entry include how the energy policy under the Trump administration will evolve in the next 4 years, the existing rules in individual states and how they may develop, the relative competitiveness of offshore against fossil, nuclear and alternative forms of renewables, and what development we should expect on the engineering and technology side of things.  

The leading players in the North American Offshore Wind sector will be gathering in New York, this May to chart a course for a sector that is fast becoming part of the US’ future energy mix.

The US Offshore Wind 2017 conference and exhibition, which will be held in the Long Island Hyatt Regency on May 8th and 9th, aims to pool the industry’s experience and expertise to enable boards to make informed choices when drawing up their business strategies. The speakers will include senior executives from many of the European and US companies that have created the modern offshore industry, such as DONG Energy, which has built more offshore wind farms than any other developer;giants such as E.ON andIberdrola; integrated energy companies such as Statoil; and US developers, such as US Wind, Vineyard Wind and LEEDCo.

The conference provides a guide to everything you need to run a winning project, each session led by one of the industries main players. Paul M Rich, the director of project development for US Wind, explains: “The second annual US Offshore Wind Conference brings together the top leadership of the offshore wind industry in a unique format and with an exciting agenda, which hits the sweet spot of the challenges facing the sector: permitting, market development, reducing cost of energy, and financing projects in the US.  Come meet the champions of the offshore wind industry, roll up your sleeves and engage in an action-packed event.”

The big questions that our proprietary research has uncovered are:

  • How big will the market become, and how quickly will it happen?
  • Where are the best places to site a project with an eye on the existing infrastructure and supply base, not to mention the political and regulatory environment (focus on New York State, Massachusetts and California)?
  • What are the ways to overcome the many regulatory hurdles a developer faces, including the best way to obtain permits and grid connections
  • What is the best way to minimise costs and maximise margins and how was lower LCOE accomplished in Europe?
  • How to build a wind farm in the US; everything from setting up a logistics hub and designing foundations to choosing the right turbine and navigating the Jones Act
  • What will operations and maintenance strategies look like for future developments in the Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific, Great Lakes and Hawaii
  • What lessons can be learned from European wind companies, and how can this knowledge be transferred to the US?

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