United States

United States

US military to meet with offshore wind industry

Offshore projects included in deal between Depts of Interior and Defense

A meeting of US military and offshore wind experts is planned for this autumn, with a view to identifying marine sites owned by the US Department of Defense (DoD) that are suitable for offshore wind development.

Plans for the forum have been announced as part of a deal between the DoD and the Department of Interior (DoI) aimed at encouraging the development of renewable energy projects at sites owned by the US state and earmarked for military use.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by the DoD and DoI. It signals their intention to implement President Obama’s strategy for increasing energy security, by developing as many sources of domestic electricity generation as possible.

The MoU encourages "appropriate development of renewable energy projects" on land and within marine areas that have been set aside for, or are near to, military installations. A renewable energy partnership plan will be drawn up by the two departments.

It appears that the DoD and DoI have yet to identify specific sites for offshore wind projects, but a forum is planned for this autumn that will bring together US military and offshore wind players. The MoU announcement simply states that the DoD owns "many installations on the Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, Gulf of Mexico and in Hawaii." It adds that "offshore Atlantic winds alone could produce an estimated 1,000 gigawatts of energy".

Hawaii was recently identified as the US state with the largest offshore wind resource.

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