Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

White House Offshore Wind Roundtable

March 29, 2021

Thanks, Deb, so much. Awesome commitments. Thanks to everyone joining us today.

I recognize that over the past few years, the federal government’s approach to offshore wind has probably seemed like a chicken with its head cut off. No direction, no consistency.

But it is a new day under the Biden administration.

This 30-gigawatt offshore wind goal demonstrates, in my view, our commitment to what I call Clean Energy Patriotism.

It’s an effort to invest, as a nation, in the means for our own energy security. In our people, in our supply chains, in our capacity.

And this incredible group representing the White House and our respective agencies—it does reflect this whole-of-government embrace. We all have a role to play.

So at DOE, our role focuses on cash, coordination, and creating union jobs.

In the cash department, our department funds solutions.

To date, we have an Advanced Manufacturing Office that has dedicated $18 million for large blade manufacturing.

ARPA-E, our advanced research agency on energy, is developing next-generation designs for floating offshore wind.

Our Wind Energy Technologies Office built on a decade of R&D into lowering costs and barriers to deployment—another $60 million infusion this year.

And now, we’re doubling down on these efforts to fund the future of offshore wind.

So we’re invested in reducing costs, increasing reliability, and providing tangible benefits to coastal communities—including through a partnership with NOAA that Secretary Raimondo will tell you about shortly.

Our Loan Programs Office at DOE—which has already supported a gigawatt in additional onshore wind energy—is now promoting up to $3 billion—$3 billion!—in funding opportunities for the offshore wind industry.

And the DOE-funded National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium is awarding $8 million to 15 new R&D projects today, to expand supply chains at home, to improve electrical systems, and so much more.

We’re also bringing the full analytical capabilities of the Department of Energy to bear.  

Our labs crunched the numbers to identify our 2030 target, taking care to strike the right balance between ambition and feasibility.

And we’re going to partner with developers, manufacturers, labor, and the states to make sure we’re all doing what’s necessary to hit these goals—and maybe even surpass them.

That includes transmission, where a coordinated approach will be critical to the success of these projects.

We’re going to be applying our technical expertise to map out solutions to the transmission challenge in the days to come. So stay tuned on that.

And last, but not least, is my personal obsession: job creation.

Committing to this 30-GW goal will lead to $12 billion in direct investments each year.

And you know what investment means. It means jobs.

Those investments will employ 44,000 offshore wind workers. It will sustain more than 33,000 other jobs. So 77,000 jobs in total, in communities surrounding the industry, all by 2030. 

It is going to be a full-force gale of good-paying, union jobs, that lifts people up.

We’re seeing it now.

Just four months ago, Orsted and North America’s Building Trades Unions formed an historic partnership that will make union construction workers the foundation of America’s offshore wind.

At DOE, we are wholeheartedly behind efforts to make it a union industry.

Through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory—NREL—we are putting together an offshore wind workforce roadmap, which is assessing where that labor demand will crop up, what skills it’s going to require, and how we can position the workforce training accordingly.

And then we’re going to send a gust of growth reaching from coast to coast.

This isn’t just about the engineers and construction workers that are installing these turbines and the technicians that are maintaining them.

Think of the miners and smelters producing the steel and iron for the towers and foundations of the turbines, and the legs and the platforms of the jack-up rigs.

Think of the shipbuilders assembling the hulls of the installation vessels—like the one Dominion Energy already commissioned in Brownsville, which you just heard about, using 10,000 tons of steel from Alabama and West Virginia.

Think about the folks in sales and operations and project management supporting these companies.

And think about the communities that surround them:

Port staff… Service workers in the grocery stores and bars and restaurants… Healthcare and childcare professionals… Contractors building new homes… And so much more.

So this is a can’t-miss opportunity. We can create the energy capacity we need. We can do it with parts and labor all sourced right here in America—putting thousands to work while reducing carbon emissions.

So DOE is going to marshal every resource we have… to get as many American companies… using as many sheets of American steel… employing as many American workers as possible… all into offshore wind energy.

And that is what Clean Energy Patriotism is all about.

I’m urging everybody—developers, manufacturers, labor groups, states—to be Clean Energy Patriots like us.

Work with us, and let’s get those turbines spinning up American power.

Thanks so much, let me turn it over to Secretary Raimondo.