Network Wins Consortium Grant That Will Lay Roadmap for 20 GW by 2035

The Business Network for Offshore Wind and two partner organizations have won a grant from the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium, which was established with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The Consortium grant funds development of a robust U.S. offshore wind supply chain database that will support the development of 20 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2035.    

The Consortium selected twelve projects totaling $10.3 million that will support research areas ranging from studying the impacts of offshore wind on the electric grid system to innovations in anchoring structures. The project, a collaboration between the Network, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Network member DNV GL, will create a comprehensive U.S. supply chain analysis by expanding on the Network’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry. The data collected will be compared with fresh projections to determine what is needed to reach 20 GW of offshore wind power in the U.S. by 2035. It will also determine how a domestic supply chain can be developed from the current state of relevant industries on the East Coast. 

“The Network convened Leadership 100, a retreat with the top offshore wind industry leaders, to discuss barriers to full-scale implementation of offshore wind and to develop collaborative solutions. Industry’s number one priority was to address supply chain bottlenecks and capacity issues by developing an industry roadmap,” said Liz Burdock, president and CEO the Network. “Through our work with NREL and DNV GL, the industry’s needs will be met, and companies will have access to critical information they need in this rapidly growing new industry. As the American economy reopens, the offshore wind industry will be ready.” 

The grant will solicit engagement with industry and government stakeholders, and a panel of expert reviewers will be employed to reach companies, update their information in the Offshore Wind Supply Chain registry, and make the results widely available for business and economic development. Concurrently, NREL and DNV GL will develop detailed projections of the supply chain capacity required to support the first phase of an offshore build-out off the Atlantic coast. The team will then compare the capabilities listed in the updated Registry with the projected demand to identify major manufacturing and workforce gaps in the existing supply chain, a potential pathway for addressing these gaps, and the subsequent economic benefits that can be realized as a result. The Network will compare the resulting database with several new analyses also funded by the grant.   

“A fully domestic offshore wind supply chain has the potential to dramatically reduce costs, alleviate project risk, and enhance local economies,” said Matt Shields, offshore wind cost engineer at NREL and the principal investigator on the grant.  “This project will identify the best way to achieve such a supply chain by aligning the needs of the industry with the most comprehensive picture developed to-date of the existing capabilities of East Coast manufacturers, suppliers, and operators.

Richard S. Barnes, region president, energy North America at DNV GL added, “Offshore wind provides a major opportunity to further the clean energy transition in the U.S., but it will require a robust supply chain as a foundation. By learning from challenges in other regions the U.S. can move quickly forward with establishing a domestic supply chain that will provide jobs and economic benefits well into the future.”

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