BOEM Advances N.C. Offshore Wind U.S. Supply Chain with Leasing Credit


Published Mar 31, 2022 11:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: BOEM]

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) prepared two new lease areas for final auction off the North Carolina coast this morning. The agency released a final sale notice and set an auction date for May 11. When fully developed, the two lease areas could generate at least 1.3 GW of offshore wind power – enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes with clean, renewable energy. A first for the federal government, this final sale notice includes a 20 percent credit to encourage direct investment in domestic U.S. supply chain or workforce development programs, which will help further build a domestic supply chain.

Over the past year, BOEM’s actions to create a reliable and transparent permitting and leasing system have helped spur major supply chain investments. The Business Network for Offshore Wind found $2.2 billion was invested into U.S. factories, ports, and suppliers in 2021 including nine new facilities that will manufacture and assemble the foundations, towers, blades, and cables of an offshore wind farm. Interest in becoming supply chain members also grew substantially as entries in the Network's Supply Chain Connect database grew 61 percent, a growth rate four times the previous year’s growth.

The following statement can be attributed to Liz Burdock, CEO and founder of the Business Network for Offshore Wind:

A resilient domestic supply chain is absolutely critical to the success of a U.S. offshore wind industry. The Network is encouraged that BOEM will use the Carolina Long Bay leasing process to spur direct investment into the supply chain. With demand for U.S. offshore wind leases at an all-time high, this credit could result in a hundred million dollars directly invested into domestic factories, local small businesses and suppliers, and workforce training. That means thousands of new jobs for construction workers, welders, electricians, ship captains and mates, engineers, and dozens of other professions.

Worldwide offshore wind demand is enormous and fast growing in the wake of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, putting severe strain on a global supply chain that already cannot meet current demand. We must build up local manufacturing capabilities to ensure U.S. projects are not delayed and provide good paying energy jobs of the future. By advancing offshore wind in the Carolinas and including this critical investment credit, BOEM will unlock the region’s manufacturing might and bolster offshore wind projects up and down American coasts.

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