The offshore wind industry could add up to $25.4 billion in annual economic output to the U.S. economy and support as many as 83,000 jobs, depending on the pace of capacity additions in the next decade, according to a report by the American Wind Energy Association.
The March 11 report said the offshore industry could install up to 30 GW of capacity by 2030, which would represent an investment of as much as $57 billion. Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia have set targets to procure a total of 25,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2035, AWEA noted.
"These policies provide certainty for the industry and will enable investment in the American offshore wind supply chain," AWEA said.
AWEA compared the potential economic benefits of offshore wind to that of onshore wind, which grew from supporting 100 domestic manufacturing facilities and 50,000 jobs in 2007 to more than 500 facilities and 114,000 jobs today. Onshore wind in 2019 reached 100 GW of operating capacity, a four-fold increase since 2008, AWEA said.
"Offshore wind is set for a similarly rapid expansion, creating new opportunities for port revitalization and vessel construction," AWEA said. "Project developers and manufacturers have already announced more than $1.3 billion of planned investments in port infrastructure, manufacturing facilities and supply chain development to support offshore wind."
In a major setback for the industry, the Trump administration in February delayed the review process for the Vineyard Offshore Wind Project, which is expected to be the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the nation.