NREL Estimates U.S. Offshore Wind Development Pipeline Totals 15,650 MW

On September 29, 2015, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report detailing the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States. The report estimates 15,650 MW in the development pipeline covering 21 projects located in 12 states.

Key Details

  • The 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island has begun construction and is likely to be operational in 2016
  • In total, 13 projects representing nearly 5,939 MW have achieved site control or more advanced development (see Figure 1)
  • The bulk of the pipeline (9,711 MW) though is in early stages of development
  • Globally, cumulative offshore wind capacity is expected to reach 11,800 MW by year end and more than 47,000 MW by 2020
  • Future cost projections suggest technology innovation and maturing supply chains could drive a decline in offshore wind energy costs through 2020

Implications

While the development pipeline is noteworthy in size, nearly two-thirds of the capacity is in early planning stages. Full development of the pipeline will require successful deployment of early offshore projects and significant cost declines.

More Information

North American Windpower: DOE Report Highlights Offshore Wind Progress

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: 2014-2015 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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