Offshore Wind Energy

photo of offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind energy is a burgeoning industry in the United States. America's first offshore wind farm—located in Rhode Island, off the coast of Block Island—powered up on December 12, 2016 and is expected to decrease the island's electric rates by an estimated 40%. The U.S. offshore wind project pipeline has reached a total of 25,464 megawatts of capacity across 13 states, including the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016.

The Energy Department's Wind Vision Report quantified the benefits from up to 22 gigawatts of installed offshore wind by 2030 and 86 gigawatts by 2050. In fact, the Wind Vision scenarios show that by 2050, offshore wind could be available in all coastal regions nationwide.

Despite the fact that projects planned for U.S. waters often face unique planning, siting, and permitting challenges, interest in developing offshore wind energy exists in coastal areas because of the proximity of offshore wind resources to population centers, the potential for local economic development benefits, and superior wind resources.

More Information on Offshore Wind Energy

These resources provide additional information about offshore, utility-scale wind.

National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States

The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Wind Energy Technologies Office, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, through its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, jointly produced this updated national strategy to facilitate the responsible development of offshore wind energy in the United States.

2017 Offshore Wind Market Update

The 2017 Offshore Wind Market Update is intended to provide stakeholders with quantitative information about the offshore wind market, technology, and cost trends in the United States and worldwide.

An Assessment of the Economic Potential of Offshore Wind in the United States from 2015 to 2030

National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers published an assessment of the economic resource potential of offshore wind, describing the spatial variation of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and levelized avoided cost of energy to understand the economic viability of fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind technologies across major U.S. coastal areas between 2015 and 2030. This study offers insights into the available offshore wind resource by region at different levels of LCOE and an assessment of the economically viable resource capacity in the United States.

Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts in the United States: Four Regional Scenarios

Using the offshore wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model, researchers developed four case studies of potential offshore wind deployment scenarios in different regions of the United States: the Southeast, the Great Lakes, the Gulf Coast, and the Mid-Atlantic.

Offshore Wind Hub

This website provides access to documents related to offshore wind policy, technology, economics, and siting.

Tethys Database

The Tethys database is a knowledge management system that actively gathers, organizes, and disseminates information on the environmental effects of marine and wind energy development.

Maps & Data