Global offshore wind company RWE Renewables will collaborate with Greater New Orleans (GNO) and GNOwind Alliance to build a program to accelerate Louisiana’s supply chain engagement with the emerging offshore wind industry.
Over the next six months, GNO will host a series of informational workshops and company-specific interviews with the aim of identifying existing Louisiana companies with transferable capabilities for offshore wind. The goal is to provide energy companies, like RWE, with supply chain contacts to fulfill their goals of deploying several gigawatts of offshore wind power.
“There is a natural connection between Louisiana’s historical strength in offshore oil and gas development and services and the future needs of offshore wind,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO. “We are thrilled to partner with RWE Renewables to help Louisiana’s companies train their workforce and translate their capacities for enormous opportunity for offshore wind in Louisiana.”
According to a recent report by the National Renewable Energy Lab, the demand for offshore wind projects will drive a domestic supply chain with the potential of supporting 65,000 well-paying U.S. jobs. From turbines to foundations manufacturing, reaching the national target of 30 GW by 2030 will require a fully-integrated value chain of suppliers and services companies. The Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana in particular, has the potential to play a role in responding to the needs of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry.
“Louisiana plans are still in preparation, but our team has had very positive experiences developing supply chain ‘pathfinder’ programs in which we engage with a range of local companies to share information about the specific needs of the offshore wind industry, learn more about their capabilities and identify new possibilities to bring value to the nascent offshore wind market in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Sam Eaton, executive VP of offshore wind development at RWE Renewables Americas.
In its recently adopted Climate Action Plan, Louisiana legislators proposed a goal of 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035. A legislative measure (HB 165) to expand the size of wind leases in state waters cleared the Louisiana House of Representatives and is expected to pass the Senate in the upcoming weeks.
Based on RWE Renewables’ experience working in onshore and offshore wind markets, the biggest challenge is often helping companies throughout all tiers of the supply chain understand how they can fit into the new offshore wind market.
“Rapidly evolving innovations in alternative forms of energy, like offshore wind, have created opportunities for new jobs and commerce here in Louisiana,” said Representative Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, of the Louisiana House of Representatives. “In this case, it isn’t a matter of choosing between oil and gas or new energy, it’s all of the above. This is the time to take advantage of decades of experience our companies have in the field, a world-class infrastructure for energy processing and distribution, and a highly-trained workforce and create an environment where success will not just be a goal, but a sure thing.”
RWE Renewables is engaging with economic development agencies across the country to learn how we can support their supply chain development initiatives. Louisiana companies interested in participating in this public-private initiative can register to receive more information at locate.gnoinc.org/wind.
News item from RWE Renewables
Filed Under: News