The 24-page report, Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of U.S. Offshore Wind Power, describes responsibly developed offshore wind as "a golden opportunity to meet our coastal energy needs with a clean, local resource that will spur investments in local economies." In particular, the Atlantic coast offers a high-quality wind resource in close proximity to power-thirsty coastal cities.
Key findings in the report include:
- Offshore winds off New England and New York blow consistently during periods of high electric demand, including summer heat waves and winter cold snaps.
- Federal environmental reviews are complete for over 1.5 million acres of Atlantic sea space, with over 16,000 megawatts of potential wind capacity.
- Diversifying states' energy mix with offshore wind can reduce prices and offset volatility, citing a 2014 study showing New England would save $350 million per year in reduced energy costs, or 2%, if 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind is added.
- Offshore wind reduces air pollution, including carbon emissions.
- Offshore wind development creates jobs, and can be done in an environmentally responsible manner.
The report calls on state leaders to:
- Set a bold goal for offshore wind in the state's energy plan.
- Take action to ensure a competitive market for offshore wind power.
- Advance power contracts for offshore wind.
- Ensure an efficient, transparent, and environmentally responsible offshore wind leasing process that protects wildlife.
- Invest in key research, initiatives, and infrastructure needed to spur offshore wind development.