The Biden Administration has expressed a clear intention to both kickstart the U.S. offshore wind industry and completely transform America’s overall electricity infrastructure. To achieve the Administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and ensure the long-term growth of the U.S. offshore wind industry out to 2050, strong federal leadership is required. In the immediate term, the state and federal governments must consider working with developers to fund pre-built additional transmission capacity in a way that does not delay project timelines or planned state capacity procurements. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) can also immediately leverage its existing authority to convene a collaborative stakeholder effort aimed at breaking the cost allocation deadlock that stymies interstate and interregional transmission planning for offshore wind. BOEM, in partnership with the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, industry, state, local, and tribal stakeholders, can identify pathways to a holistic long-term transmission solution to achieve grid integration of 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. This stakeholder process would inform a consensus based recommendation for direct and substantial federal funding of a holistic improvement to the Northeast regional grid, centered around grid integration of 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, and comprised of onshore and offshore components. Similar to the interstate highway system, this grid upgrade serving Northeastern states would be part of a broader federally funded multi-regional, high-voltage transmission network.
Download this Offshore Wind Policy Briefing focused on Advancements in Coordinated Transmission Approaches