2023 GNO Jobs Report: Explore the top occupations in the region

April 28, 2024

Sunday Night Highlight: Louisiana Can Dominate Offshore Wind Design, Manufacture & Service

A report released last Friday details that Louisiana can leverage its historical oil and gas expertise to lead in offshore wind design, manufacturing, and service.

In short, if you can build an oil rig, you can build a wind turbine.

The report, “Louisiana Offshore Wind Supply Chain Assessment,” released by the Southeastern Wind Coalition, Greater New Orleans Inc., the Center for Planning Excellence, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, in collaboration with global energy consultancy Xodus Group, offers recommendations to help Louisiana tap into its wealth of energy expertise and capacity to build offshore wind in U.S. waters.  These include:

  1. Upgrade Ports – Upgrade ports and support shipbuilding to meet national targets and support the maritime industry, leveraging the state’s historical position as a shipbuilding hub
  2. Invest in Workforce – Invest in the offshore-ready workforce and job sites to build awareness and training about offshore wind job opportunities, to ready to fill the supply chain needs
  3. Maximize Exports – Maximize export opportunities to strengthen business networks, to position Louisiana companies for large contracts
  4. Create Certainty – Capitalize on the economic benefits of offshore wind by committing to and codifying a state offshore wind procurement target and establishing a lead agency within state government to provide market certainty, ensure the enforceability of state goals, and drive additional private investment
  5. Lead Coordination – Lean into Louisiana leadership by coordinating state government, higher education networks, economic development organizations, and grant-funded innovation clusters to expand the state’s leadership in the energy sector to meet the supply chain and workforce needs of U.S. offshore wind

“Louisiana is already a national leader for offshore construction. Harnessing that expertise and infrastructure for offshore wind is a logical next step,” says Hillary Bright, vice president of renewables for Xodus. “The opportunity is real, and it’s here right now for Louisiana’s suppliers.”

The report details how over 100 Louisiana fabrication and manufacturing assets have strong potential to support offshore wind development when combined with investments to reskill, retool, or expand their current operations.  Louisiana businesses have been instrumental in helping to build this emerging energy sector since the first U.S. offshore wind farm came online near Rhode Island in 2016 (see below).