President, governors partner to boost offshore wind industry

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North Carolina Construction News

A partnership including the White House and 11 East Coast governors including North Carolina has been launched to boost the growing offshore wind industry.

A White House statement said the strategy will “provide Americans with cleaner and cheaper energy, create good-paying jobs and invest billions in new American energy supply chains,” including construction of wind turbines, ship building and servicing.

The partnership comprises governors of both parties from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

This follows an announced plan to conduct up to seven offshore wind auctions by 2025, including one held last month off North Carolina.

Vineyard Wind in Massachusetts and South Fork Wind off New York and Rhode Island are now under construction and reviews of another 10 offshore projects are underway.

Danish wind developer Orsted signed a project labor agreement last month with a national union representing 3 million people in the building trades to construct the company’s U.S. offshore wind farms with an American union workforce. Orsted currently has six offshore projects in five states.

The new partnership comprises governors of both parties from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Biden has set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, enough to provide electricity to 10 million homes, support 77,000 jobs and spur $12 billion per year in private investment in offshore wind. Offshore wind is a key component in the Democratic president’s plan to make the nation’s electric grid carbon free by 2035.

A national agreement signed with North America’s Building Trades Unions covers contractors working wind projects with no termination date on the project labor agreement. It sets terms and conditions for union workers to build offshore wind farms, with targets to ensure a diverse workforce. It contains provisions for training to ensure they can construct the complex infrastructure, which costs billions of dollars.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says East Coast governors “are united with our regional and federal partners not just by geography but by a shared commitment to clean and affordable energy, economic opportunity and a future in which all community members are shielded from the worsening impacts of climate change.”

“Today, there are just seven offshore wind turbines in the United States, and we’re going to need a lot more, done responsibly, to meet our clean energy goals,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director for the conservation group Oceana. She called for “strong safeguards for marine life to avoid, minimize and mitigate the impacts of offshore wind.”

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