In a letter dated June 4, 2021, the governors of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia commended the Biden administration for its recently announced commitment to developing wind energy off the US coast.1
The governors also noted that the expansion of the offshore wind industry creates an unprecedented opportunity for the United States to capture significant economic development activity and build equity in coastal communities while improving air quality and increasing the options for energy diversity and stressed the importance of federal-state partnership in realizing this opportunity.
However, the governors then noted that realizing this opportunity will depend on several variables, including the pace and uniformity of the federal permitting process, the degree of regional coordination among states, the amount of available space in federal lease areas, the potential impacts on marine resources and the availability of supporting infrastructure to deliver high-voltage power from project areas to the mainland. The governors further stated that they aim to collaborate by consulting with each other on permitting challenges, natural resource considerations, identifying opportunities to coordinate schedules, and aligning construction timelines to meet their states’ respective clean energy targets.
The letter then offered several “strategic” suggestions, including to:
- Set long-term targets for Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease area scoping and establishment that are informed by state clean energy goals;
- Supplement interstate coordination during project design and permitting processes;
- Consider setting long-term targets for offshore wind ports that can support the scale and timeline of state procurement targets;
- Ensure adequate transmission capacity; and
- Provide support for other marine industries and users.
1 Described in more detail in our March 30, 2021, Perspective “Biden Administration Jumpstarts Offshore Wind Energy Projects to Create Jobs.”