Offshore wind power in U.S. at tipping point heading into 2015

There's good news this week for supporters of offshore wind power in the U.S.

That's because industry leaders, government officials and other attendees at AWEA's annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference & exhibition in Atlantic City, N.J. this week collectively signaled that offshore wind power in the U.S. is at a tipping point.

Here's a roundup of quotes by several industry spokespersons during this week's event:

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaking at AWEA's Offshore WINDPOWER in Atlantic City, N.J.

On momentum building in the industry:

  • “We are going to put steel in the water in 2015. By developing offshore wind power, we can create well-paying jobs, attract billions of dollars in private investment into our national economy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions for generations to come.” – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
  • “This is the year it happens. We are nine months away from the installation of our first foundations.” – Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, developer of the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island and three other projects
  • "It's an exciting time for the U.S. offshore wind industry. Cape Wind is closing its financing this fall and looking forward to the start of construction." – Dennis Duffy, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Energy Management Inc. (EMI), developer for Cape Wind
  • "America's offshore areas contain tremendous wind energy potential. I am encouraged by the collaborative spirit and the thoughtful planning that has been the hallmark of our approach to ensure that development is realized in the right way and in the right places. Offshore wind is an exciting new frontier that will help keep America competitive and expand domestic energy production, all without increasing carbon pollution." – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and keynote speaker for the Offshore WINDPOWER conference
  • “As a readily expandable, domestic source of clean, renewable energy, wind power is helping pave the way to a low-carbon future that protects our air and water while providing affordable, renewable electricity to American families and businesses. While land-based wind energy now contributes over 4.5 percent of the nation's electricity, the offshore wind industry in the United States has also been steadily gaining momentum. Within the past year, the Energy Department has released a number of reports and tools to help industry and policymakers, announced a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee for Cape Wind, and announced the selection of the three advanced technology demonstration projects to continue to the next phase." – Jose Zayas, Director of the Energy Department's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office.
  • We are pleased to welcome everyone back to Atlantic City and we look forward to welcoming folks back when the Fishermen’s offshore wind project gets approved.” – Fishermen’s Energy COO and General Counsel Paul Gallagher.
  • “What an exciting year for offshore wind power. After many years of hard work by members of the offshore wind community and its friends and allies, projects are going into the water soon. Once people see it, they know it’s real; it’s part of everyday business. Everything changes from here on out.” – John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Energy Foundation.
  • “Offshore wind is a key industry for DNV GL as it is the one industry where our five legacy companies intersect after the merger between DNV, GL, KEMA, Garrad Hassan and Noble Denton. We feel a very strong responsibility to make this industry succeed and our recent pledge to help reduce offshore wind’s costs demonstrates this. We are committed to making offshore wind power an important part of the U.S. energy mix.” – Johan Sandberg, Service Line Leader – Offshore Renewable Energy for DNV GL.

On the need for Congress to provide policy certainty for the wind power industry (by extending the PTC & ITC):

  • "Congress must extend both these successful tax policies that have attracted up to $25 billion a year in new private investment to the U.S. economy. With these policies in place, wind power has been able to improve its technology and lower its costs by 58 percent over the last five years, saving consumers on their electric bills.” – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

On offshore wind power and its potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions:

  • “Developing Atlantic offshore wind is absolutely vital to protect our communities and wildlife from the worst impacts of global warming. I'm proud to stand with Sec. Jewell to support developing this critically needed new energy source in a way that protects wildlife and their habitats.” – Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

Offshore WINDPOWER will take place next year in Baltimore, Maryland from September 29 – 30.

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