June 13, 2024

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Biden’s massive wind projects face ‘perfect storm’ and learn they need to more like Europe

2 min read

The cancellation of two large offshore wind projects in New Jersey is the latest in a series of setbacks for the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry, jeopardizing the Biden administration’s goals of powering 10 million homes from towering ocean-based turbines by 2030 and establishing a carbon-free electric grid five years later.

The Danish wind energy developer Ørsted said this week it’s scrapping its Ocean Wind I and II projects off southern New Jersey due to problems with supply chains, higher interest rates and a failure to obtain the amount of tax credits the company wanted. Together, the projects were supposed to deliver over 2.2 gigawatts of power.

The news comes after developers in New England canceled power contacts for three projects that would have provided another 3.2 gigawatts of wind power to Massachusetts and Connecticut. They said their projects were no longer financially feasible.

In total, the cancellations equate to nearly one-fifth of President Joe Biden’s goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.

Despite the setbacks, offshore wind continues to move forward, the White House said, citing recent investments by New York state and approval by the Interior Department of the nation’s largest planned offshore wind farm in Virginia. Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also announced new offshore wind lease areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

“While macroeconomic headwinds are creating challenges for some projects, momentum remains on the side of an expanding U.S. offshore wind industry — creating good-paying union jobs in manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction,″ while strengthening the power grid and providing new clean energy resources for American families and businesses, the White House said in a statement Thursday.

Industry experts now say that while the U.S. likely won’t hit 30 gigawatts by 2030, a significant amount of offshore wind power is still attainable by then, roughly 20 to 22…

Jennifer McDermott, Matthew Daly, Michael Hill, Mike Catalini, The Associated Press

2023-11-04 10:32:38

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