SEWC Submits Comments to BOEM in Support of South Fork Wind

Program Manager,

The Southeastern Wind Coalition appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in support of moving the South Fork Wind Project permitting forward. The Southeastern Wind Coalition focuses on education and outreach to advance the wind industry in ways that benefit utilities, industry, and ratepayers in the Southeast. We take an objective, data-driven, and business-focused approach to understanding and communicating the economic case for wind energy.

The Eastern Seaboard of the United States has one of the most abundant clean energy resources in the country – wind. While wind energy is a catalyst for meeting and surpassing New York & East Hampton’s clean energy goals, wind also serves as a catalyst for economic growth. The American Clean Power Association forecasts the U.S. Atlantic offshore wind industry to see investment up to $57B with installation of 30GW of wind by 2030 and could support as many as 83,000 jobs. While many of the jobs supporting the South Fork Wind project will be concentrated at the local level, the project’s impact crosses state lines by utilizing businesses in the Southeast as well. There are a number of companies based in the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico regions of the U.S. that are directly supporting the South Fork Wind project.

The economic benefit to regions outside of the Northeast is often overlooked in the discussion of the value of a domestic offshore wind industry. Many established industries in the Southeast are well-positioned to play a role in offshore wind development; from oil & gas in the Gulf, to textiles in North Carolina, to power systems in South Carolina. These companies have much to gain from this new industry, particularly given the economic challenges endured due to the COVID pandemic. To maximize economic development opportunities for companies in the southeast, both developers and the supply chain need certainty and confidence that individual projects are moving in a timely manner through the permitting process.

Offshore wind has the potential to drive economic recovery and stimulate economies throughout the country. As the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S., Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind Project will play a critical role in establishing a domestic offshore wind industry and realizing the tremendous potential economic benefits of this rapidly emerging industry. However, South Fork Wind and other projects must be able to advance through the permitting process in a transparent, timely, and reasonable way.  This will help projects plan their development timelines and provides clarity throughout the supply chain that will unlock significant investments related to project execution.

SEWC urges the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to act expeditiously to move the South Fork Wind Project forward to ensure that offshore wind power plays a critical role in our nation’s move toward a clean energy future. 

Thank you for your consideration of our comments. If you have any questions, please contact Katharine Kollins, President, at katharinek@sewind.org or (303) 564-9687.

Sincerely,

 

Katharine Kollins,
President, Southeastern Wind Coalition