This week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held the first-ever offshore wind lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico, with German firm RWE (the 2nd-largest wind operator in the world) selected as the winner of the Lake Charles lease area. RWE secured the lease area with a bid of $6 million, which includes over 102,000 acres for development, and represents 1,244MW of clean energy potential – enough to power 435,000 homes. The resulting offshore wind project is expected to create 1,500 jobs during construction, and 300 permanent jobs during operations.
There are three components to the offshore wind opportunity in Louisiana:
- Manufacture – Louisiana building wind components (blades, vessels, etc.) for use in other parts of the country (e.g., Edison Chouest’s $300M contract with Ørsted)
- Clean Hydrogen – Offshore wind as the power source for green hydrogen production (e.g., the $75M GNO, Inc.-led H2theFuture initiative, with over 25 partners across the state)
- Electricity – Generation for residential and commercial use, as is the intention of RWE with this lease
RWE has partnered with GNO, Inc.’s 250+ member GNOwind Alliance for the creation of an offshore wind supplier database, which identifies companies in Louisiana who provide materials or services that are utilized by the industry. Dozens of these suppliers are already gaining experience working with offshore wind projects along the east coast, capitalizing on decades of expertise in waterborne energy operations.
GNO, Inc. has also supported relationships between offshore wind developers and regional schools to create training programs, for example between Norway’s Energy Innovation and Nunez Community College.
You can read more about GNO, Inc’s work in offshore wind here.