5 US offshore wind projects and skills needed for the ‘Green New Deal’

August 19, 2022

Offshore wind turbine

Source: Rost9/Shutterstock

The United States wants to lead a clean energy revolution, and offshore wind is at the centre of the strategy. The future is green, and the Biden administration is heading in that direction. The proposed infrastructure investment is part of the ‘Green New Deal’.

Partner with our green recruitment company to find top talent for your  renewable energy projects.

But what is the ‘Green New Deal’ and how does it work under the Biden administration?

It is not a single project or piece of legislation. The Green New Deal was devised more than 10 years ago and outlines the broad principles to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the US economy by 2030.

Biden's climate plan is the boldest of any US president in history, but he aims to reach this milestone by 2050, fighting the climate crisis, creating jobs, and tackling inequality.

The plan envisions:

  • Sourcing 100% of the country’s electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power.
  • Building or upgrading to “smart” power grids.
  • Creating millions of high-wage jobs in the green economy.
  • Overhauling infrastructure with electric vehicles and public transport including high-speed rail.
  • Upgrading all existing buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
  • Building resiliency against climate change-related disasters.
  • Restoring forests to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • Working with farmers to cut emissions from the agricultural sector.

US Offshore wind huge potential

Currently, 120,000 Americans are working in the wind industry. The Departments of Energy, Interior and Commerce U.S. wants to expand offshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. This can generate 83,000 new jobs and unlock billions of dollars in investment in the coming years.

Block Island Wind Farm
Source: Diane Diederich/Shutterstock

The question is how can the US reach 30GW by 2030?

Currently, US offshore wind energy has about 42 megawatts (MW) of capacity and only one operational offshore commercial wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island (Block Island Wind Farm).

The target represents not only a ramp-up but a stimulus for the sustainable development of America’s offshore wind industry. The challenges and opportunities to put the US on track to deliver 30GW of offshore wind installations by 2030 have been discussed by many specialists.

They believe in a strategy based on leasing, infrastructure, regional collaboration, and global standardised training.

Listen to the episode “How can the US reach 30GW by 2030?” in The Offshore Wind Podcast.

Top 5 offshore wind projects in the United States:

These are the top 5 projects in the sector. Click in the project names to jump to a summary of each.

  1. Vineyard Wind 1
  2. Ocean Wind
  3. South Fork
  4. Revolution Wind
  5. Atlantic Shores

The wind is now America’s top renewable electricity source, and it is expanding. 

There are 20 offshore wind projects slated for the next 5 years with a total value of $61bn.

Massachusetts ($14bn), New Jersey ($12bn), Maryland ($12bn), Virginia ($10bn) and New York (7bn) are the states spending the most on offshore wind power projects over the next 10 years.

US Offshore Wind Projects
Figure 1: Regions in the USA spending the most on offshore wind projects over the next 10 years.

Jobs in demand and the clean energy market in the USA

Over 443,000 Americans across all 50 states have direct clean energy jobs; by 2030, there could be over 1 million jobs.

Wind technicians and solar installers have been the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. for years.

Employment by Technology and Industry - U.S Department of Energy
Figure 2: 2022 United States Energy and Employment Report. Source: U.S Department of Energy.

According to the White House, meeting the new goal of 30 GW of offshore wind capacity would trigger over $12 billion a year in capital investment, more than 44,000 jobs in the sector by 2030, and 33,000 other roles connected to the industry.

To support this growth, the Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2021-2025 reports that global standardised training is the most effective tool to ensure the health and safety of the wind workforce.

Scaling up training capacity can provide new job opportunities and increase productivity through the recognition of Global Wind Organization (GWO) standards.

US offshore wind jobs in demand

A new generation of professionals can be required due to technological advances. But there are also some transferable skills, especially from Oil & Gas, which can give access to the offshore wind sector. 

Currently, there is a lot of demand for the following roles and skillsets.

  • Construction Engineer
  • Offshore Installation Manager
  • Cable Design Engineer
  • Cable Systems Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Commissioning Manager

Want more insight into talent trends in the renewable energy industry? Click the link below to download our latest whitepaper.

Green Tech Talent Required to Boost Net Zero

5 US offshore wind projects

1. Vineyard Wind 1

This is the first utility-scale offshore wind energy project in the United States, over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The project has recently obtained federal approval for construction, and the development of 800MW of installed capacity will kickstart a new industry in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind 1 will reduce carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year and create thousands of local full-time equivalent jobs over the life of the project.

With an investment of over $3bn, it is the biggest wind farm currently under development in the USA.

Vineyard Wind 1 will generate electricity of about 2GW of wind power, enough to meet the demand of more than 400,000 homes and businesses. It is anticipated to deliver clean energy throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2023.

2. Ocean Wind

Ocean Wind has proposed an offshore wind project utility-scale with a total capacity of 1,100 megawatts (MW) — enough to power 500,000 homes across New Jersey. Located near Atlantic City, in New Jersey, the wind energy area is about 16km off the coast and has an average water depth of 24m.

Ocean Wind will provide more than half a million homes in New Jersey with clean, reliable energy. It is being developed by Ørsted in conjunction with Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), and the commercial operations are expected by the end of 2024.

3. South Fork Wind

This 132MV wind farm will be the first to connect in New York State and help the Town of East Hampton meet its 100% renewable energy goal. With 12 turbines and a state-of-the-art transmission system, the project will generate enough clean energy to power 70,000 average homes and offset tons of emissions each year.

South Fork Wind is a 50/50 partnership between Ørsted – the global leader in offshore wind – and Eversource, a national energy leader with homegrown expertise in regional energy transmission. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

4. Revolution Wind

Revolution Wind is a combined offshore wind energy and storage project off the coast of Massachusetts. The wind farm will be built adjacent to the South Fork Wind Farm that is being built to supply power to New York and will be in the same lease area.

The project will combine a hydroelectric pumped storage system with a "first-of-its-kind offshore transmission backbone." The project will supply 400MW to Rhode Island and 304MW to Connecticut.

Construction could begin as early as 2023 and is estimated to be fully operational in 2025. Revolution Wind is also a 50/50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource.

5. Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Farm

The project is a development of an offshore wind area in the federal waters of New Jersey with a potential capacity of 2.5GW. It is strategically positioned to meet the growing demands of renewable energy targets in multiple east coast markets.

The Atlantic Shores site covers an area some 14 to 32 kilometres off the New Jersey coast, between Barnegat Light and Atlantic City. The water depths at the site range from 18 to 30 metres, and it is expected that the project begins to deliver electricity in 2027.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is a 50:50 joint venture between Shell New Energies and EDF Renewables North America.

Want to know more about the sector in the USA? Read All eyes on record US Offshore Wind lease auction.

Airswift can help you deliver offshore wind projects

Airswift is committed to supporting the energy transition. From our offices in the United States, we connect international talent to the biggest wind energy projects. The industry is changing, and we understand the challenges facing the sector

With over 60 offices worldwide, 1,000 employees, and 9,000 contractors, we have successfully placed both permanent and contract personnel across a wide range of offshore wind energy disciplines.

Our dedicated team of consultants are able to support clients throughout the whole offshore wind project lifecycle.

This includes the areas of cable engineering, offshore installation, fabrication and inspection, commissioning and O&M. If you are looking for wind energy talent, contact us.

Partner with our green recruitment company to find top talent for your  renewable energy projects.

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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator