SEWC PRESS RELEASE: Louisiana Takes Landmark Step in Realizing Offshore Wind in the Gulf


Louisiana Takes Landmark Step in Realizing Offshore Wind Development in the Gulf of Mexico
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2020
Media Contact: Katharine Kollins, Southeastern Wind Coalition, (303) 564-9687, katharinek@sewind.org

Raleigh, N.C. – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards submitted a formal request to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to initiate an Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force that will explore offshore wind opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico. The creation of a BOEM Task Force is the first step in identifying potential areas for offshore wind energy development. 

The announcement came during the first convening of the state’s Climate Initiatives Task Force, which was created by executive order signed by Governor Edwards in August. The task force will provide guidance and policy recommendations for Louisiana to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and mitigate climate impacts in the state. 

“We applaud Governor Edwards’ leadership in supporting an industry that will not only contribute to the state’s carbon reduction goals, but will also create thousands of jobs that Louisiana’s offshore energy workforce is ideally positioned to fill” says Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. “Offshore wind presents a unique opportunity to foster that existing skillset, while bringing new investment opportunities to the state”. 

Many Louisiana firms are already contributing to the offshore wind industry, with Keystone Engineering, Gulf Island Fabrication, Aries Marine Corp. and Falcon Global LLC all playing key roles in the first U.S. project, the Block Island Wind Farm. “Development in the Gulf of Mexico will be essential in realizing long-term economic opportunity for Louisiana” adds Kollins. 

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Louisiana’s technical potential for offshore wind development is among the highest in the country. NREL also partnered with BOEM on an offshore wind feasibility study in the Gulf of Mexico that was published earlier this year, which noted the region’s mild climate and shallow waters as additional benefits to potential development. That study found that a 600MW project would create 4,470 jobs and $445 million in investment during construction, and 150 jobs with $14 million in annual investment during operation..
 
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The Southeastern Wind Coalition is a 501(c)3 that works to advance the land-based and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers.  For more information about the Southeastern Wind Coalition visit http://www.sewind.org.