On March 22, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hosted the final workshop in a series of Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Stakeholder Convenings.
View presentation materials and the preliminary results from the Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is working to support the Administration's interagency goal of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind (OSW) by 2030, as well as future deployment to ramp up to 110+ GW in 2050 and beyond. The development of strategic and equitable OSW transmission will allow wind resources to be captured off the coasts of the United States and delivered to communities as clean, reliable power. To achieve these goals, proactive transmission planning and development will be needed. On March 29, 2023 DOE released the Offshore Wind Energy Strategy, a first of its kind, comprehensive summary of the Department’s efforts to meet President Biden’s goal. This Department-wide strategy outlines how DOE will support the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind in support of achieving a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035.
In January 2022, DOE announced the Building a Better Grid Initiative to expand and strengthen the electric transmission grid across the nation. In support of that mission, DOE and BOEM convened decisionmakers and stakeholders for a series of OSW transmission convening workshops, in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This convening workshop series sought to identify options for addressing technology and standardization requirements; aligning requirements across regulatory jurisdictions; optimizing siting and permitting approaches that affect OSW transmission development; ensuring appropriate protections; and addressing ocean co-use conflicts through avoidance, minimization, and mitigation strategies.
Decisionmakers and senior leadership from federal agencies, Tribal Nations, state public utility commissions, state energy offices, state environmental and natural resource agencies, ISO/RTOs, electric reliability organizations, consumer advocates, and current BOEM leaseholders in the Atlantic region have been engaged to provide insight on collaborative solutions for near-, medium-, and long-term OSW transmission challenges. A public stakeholder convening workshop was also held to solicit broader public input in June 2022, with a final public stakeholder convening workshop held in March 2023 to discuss the agencies’ findings following the convening workshop series, preview the preliminary results from the Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study, and provide opportunities for public comment. This first convening workshop series was focused on the Atlantic Coast from Maine to South Carolina.
The Wind Energy Technologies Office at DOE is leading a two-year Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study (AOSWTS). Conducted by NREL and PNNL, the AOSWTS will evaluate multiple pathways to OSW goals through coordinated transmission solutions along the Atlantic Coast in the near-term (2030) and long-term (2050), under various generation mix and load futures. Resulting topologies and datasets will illuminate benefits and shortcomings in terms of production costs, system reliability, and resilience of specific transmission infrastructure concepts. These contributions will fill research gaps, support timely and informed recommendations on OSW transmission strategies for the convening workshops, and offer feasible solutions that may benefit stakeholders in their planning processes.
The outputs of the convening workshops and the AOSWTS will ultimately inform DOE and BOEM’s development of a set of OSW transmission-focused recommendations and associated time-bound, regionally-specific action plans for enabling solutions, starting with the Atlantic Coast. The DOE and BOEM recommendations will address the areas of transmission planning and development; economics and policy; and siting and permitting.
DOE received $100 million in funding through the Inflation Reduction Act for offshore wind and interregional transmission analyses and convenings, which will allow the agency to expand efforts to new regions in the future.
On February 22, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office announced the kick-off of the West Coast Offshore Wind Transmission Study. This 20-month study will detail transmission options to support offshore wind development in the Pacific Ocean along the U.S. West Coast and will be a part of a longer-term effort to include convenings with state policymakers, local leaders, and private industry, and eventually a report outlining key recommendations and an action plan for OSW transmission development on the West Coast.
Atlantic Coast Region
Pacific Coast Region
For additional questions, contact the team at OSWtransmission@hq.doe.gov. For additional information on GDO’s funding and financing programs made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, see the Grid and Transmission Program Conductor.