Report Shows Louisiana’s Energy Expertise Can Fuel Offshore Wind Benefits

(Image credit: Xodus)

A new report released shows Louisiana businesses and workers stand to benefit from expansion of offshore wind nationally and in the Gulf of Mexico. The “Louisiana Offshore Wind Supply Chain Assessment,” released by the Southeastern Wind Coalition, GNO Inc., Center for Planning Excellence, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with research partner and global energy consultancy Xodus Group, identifies recommendations to tap into more Louisiana know-how to help build offshore wind in US waters.

“This state is already a national leader for offshore construction. Harnessing that expertise and infrastructure for offshore wind is a logical next step,” says Hillary Bright, VP of Renewables for Xodus Group. “The opportunity for Louisiana is real, and it’s here right now for Louisiana’s suppliers.”

Louisiana businesses have been instrumental in using their offshore expertise to help build this emerging energy sector since the first US offshore wind farm was constructed near Rhode Island.

“The report is clear: Louisiana can be a leader in supplying the goods and services for the build out of offshore wind along both coasts,” added Courtney Durham Shane, a Senior Officer on Pew’s energy modernization project. “This industry is expected to bring over $100 billion in private investment and nearly 50,000 jobs across the US, much of which can be realized by Louisiana businesses and workers.”

The findings come on the heels of the recent federal government announcement of new offshore lease opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, which have the potential to power up to 1.2 million homes and create jobs and economic development across Louisiana. The report also offers five crucial steps the state should take to build its offshore wind opportunities and broaden its reputation as an energy leader. The recommendations include:

  1. Maximize export opportunities to strengthen its business networks to position Louisiana for large contracts.
  2. Invest in the workforce and job sites that are offshore—ready to build awareness about the offshore wind job opportunities and be ready to fill the supply chain needs.
  3. Upgrade ports and support shipbuilding to meet national targets and support the maritime industry by leveraging the state’s reputation as a shipbuilding hub.
  4. Capitalize on the economic benefits of offshore wind by committing to and codifying a state offshore wind procurement target, establishing a government lead agency to provide market certainty, ensure enforceable state goals, and drive additional private investments.
  5. Lean into Louisiana leadership by coordinating state government, higher education networks, economic development organizations, and grant-funded innovation clusters to maximize Louisiana’s offshore wind industrial and employment power.

The report also inventories the state’s current assets that are ready for offshore wind. The impressive numbers help to reinforce the case for Louisiana benefits and how the state can serve as a strong link to fill supply chain gaps.

“Louisiana is an energy leader and this report shows how the state can add wind to an already thriving offshore economy,” said Southeastern Wind Coalition’s Senior Program Manager, Jenny Netherton. “With over 450 businesses that are offshore-ready, Louisiana’s workforce is poised to serve as the foundation of the offshore wind industry in the United States.”

Also, there are over 100 fabrication and manufacturing assets with strong potential to support offshore wind development when coupled with investments to reskill, retool, or expand their current operations.

“Long term planning and conducive policies are critical to ensure that Louisiana is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the offshore wind industry. With the more than 60,000 Louisiana workers employed in positions within closely aligned industries, this report makes it clear that Louisiana workers and local businesses are well-positioned to welcome this energy addition to the Gulf. With strategic foresight and proactive measures, Louisiana can effectively harness the potential of offshore wind, ensuring sustainable growth and economic prosperity for generations to come,” stated Camille Manning-Broome, President & CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence.

To learn more about how Louisiana businesses are reacting to the report click here.

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