US offshore wind pipeline reaches 30.7 GW

The U.S. has a 30.7-GW pipeline of offshore wind projects, enough to meet President Joe Biden's target of 30 GW by 2030, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

But the Biden administration faces a time crunch in reaching the goal: By 2025, the U.S. will have 4,733 MW of operating offshore wind capacity if all projects are built on time, the data show. Another 16,218 MW of capacity is scheduled for completion between 2025 and 2030, when the U.S. will have 20,951 MW of operating capacity. Newer project proposals totaling 8,128 MW of capacity have not disclosed in-service dates.

Image: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Since 2012 U.S. officials have leased 1.7 million acres of federal waters for 18 offshore wind projects. Biden officials have fast-tracked project reviews in the administration's first year in office in order to advance the offshore wind target, and nine construction-and-operation plans are now under review. More lease auctions are forthcoming. In February, the U.S. Interior Department will hold the largest lease sale for offshore wind energy yet in the nation, covering nearly half a million acres off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. The sales could allow for an additional 7 GW of offshore wind power.

Image: S&P Global Market Intelligence

European companies have maintained dominance in the U.S. market. The 10 largest developers by project size have a collective 26,454 MW under development, and just over 4,500 MW of that capacity is owned by U.S. companies.

Ørsted A/S leads in proposed U.S. offshore wind capacity, with 6,262 MW in proposed projects. In addition to helping build the second offshore wind farm in the U.S., the 12-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project), the Danish company became the second developer in the U.S. to begin construction on a utility-scale offshore wind project following the U.S. Interior Department's approval of the 132-MW Deepwater Offshore Wind Energy Center (South Fork Wind Farm).

Image: S&P Global Market Intelligence

The South Fork project, a joint venture with Massachusetts-headquartered utility Eversource Energy, is expected to begin powering up to 70,000 homes in New York by the end of 2023. Ørsted is also partnering with Eversource on the proposed 2,000-MW Bay State Offshore Wind, 704-MW Revolution Wind Offshore and 924-MW Sunrise Wind Offshore Farm.

Dominion Energy Inc. is the top U.S.-headquartered developer, with its proposed $10 billion, 2,640-MW Virginia Beach Offshore Wind Project (Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind), which is slated to come online in late 2026.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the 800-MW Vineyard Offshore Wind Project, a joint venture between Avangrid Inc. subsidiary Avangrid Renewables LLC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S. Avangrid is a subsidiary of Spain-headquartered Iberdrola SA. In January, Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners restructured their joint venture's 5.3-GW U.S. offshore wind portfolio. The deal increased Avangrid's offshore wind portfolio to 4.9 GW. The companies will retain equal interest in the Vineyard Wind project, which is slated to reach commercial operations in 2023.

But federal lawsuits concerning that project's approval could affect its timeline, as well as provide a test of the Biden administration's regulatory framework for the burgeoning industry.

S&P Global Market Intelligence
Press Office
S&P Global Market Intelligence, analysis, offshore, pipeline, wind farm, Joe Biden, President, advance, growth, coast, New York, New Jersey, sale, gigawatts

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