Sunday Night Highlight: Louisiana Trailblazes with the US’s First State-Water Offshore Wind Farms
Louisiana is making US history by launching its first two offshore wind farms, Cajun Wind and Diamond Offshore Wind, in state waters.
Danish firm Vestas was granted nearly 60,000 acres off Cameron Parish (Cajun Wind) and Mitsubishi-owned Diamond Offshore Wind was approved for a 6,162-acre area off Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources announced this past Wednesday. Vestas is a world leader in wind energy development, installing more than 164 gigawatts of onshore and offshore turbines in 88 countries. The company has developed several offshore wind projects in Europe, but its focus in the U.S. has been on turbine manufacturing. Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has been diversifying into natural gas and other energy enterprises. Its Diamond Offshore company has seven commercial-scale offshore wind projects and is developing a floating wind farm project off the coast of Maine.
While unlikely to be large wind farms that power millions of homes, projects in state waters have several advantages, including lower transmission costs, and operating on a scale that suits the testing of new technologies. Further, these near-shore windmills can be used to produce ‘green hydrogen,’ a low-emissions fuel and feedstock made by electrolyzing water. Overall, Louisiana is ranked #4 in net technical potential for offshore wind energy by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Louisiana has also expanded into offshore wind as a manufacturer, leveraging decades of oil and gas experience. For example, eight Louisiana companies have been employed to design, develop, and operate the Block Island Wind Farm, the first U.S. offshore wind development. Per GNO, Inc., Louisiana is home to over 120 Louisiana energy contractors with capacity to work in offshore wind.
You can read more about the state-water announcement here.