Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Publishes Analysis of the Value of Offshore Wind along the U.S. Eastern Coast

April 16, 2018

A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that the "market value" of offshore wind—considering energy, capacity, and renewable energy certificates (RECs)—varies significantly along the U.S. East Coast and generally exceeds that of land-based wind in the region. The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office, unpacks the various value components and explores a hypothetical question: What would the marginal economic value of offshore wind projects along the East Coast have been from 2007 to 2016 if such projects were operating during that time period? Berkeley Lab researchers answer this question by developing a rigorous approach based on historical weather data at thousands of potential offshore wind sites combined with historical wholesale market outcomes and REC prices at hundreds of possible locations. The study finds that the historical "market value" of offshore wind (considering energy, capacity, and REC value) is highest for sites off New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts—areas where offshore wind is being actively pursued.