Offshore Wind Gaining Support in More States

States traditionally resistant to renewable energy are passing legislation to ease the way for offshore wind production as lawmakers realize the potential economic benefits to their states.

August 4, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


“The offshore wind industry, which produces little electricity today, is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years as long-awaited projects come online, and more waters are opened for leasing,” writes Alex Brown in Governing. While some states mandate certain amounts of offshore wind energy, Schulman writes, others have been reluctant to do so. Now, with the economic benefits of offshore wind becoming more apparent, some state legislators are hoping their states can cash in. 

On the East Coast, “Eight states set goals or mandates that total 39 gigawatts of capacity by 2040. Many have invested in ports, workforce development, transmission infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.”

The article outlines recently passed or proposed laws that support offshore wind production, such as a Massachusetts bill that would establish an investment fund and a Maryland law that streamlines the process for renewable energy credits. On the West Coast, “Federal officials are expected to hold the first offshore wind lease sale in California waters this fall, and state regulators there have twice voted to allow the lease phase of projects to move forward.” 

Even in the South, where energy interests have largely suppressed the development of renewable energy infrastructure, lawmakers hope to reverse that trend. “Louisiana legislators, for example, passed a law this year to allow for leasing of state waters in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore wind projects.”

Monday, August 1, 2022 in Governing

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