GOM - Offshore wind advocates see Gulf of Mexico opportunity
Building on moves by Louisiana, offshore wind advocates see the Gulf of Mexico as a next major step for developing the U.S. industry – possibly including re-use of offshore oil and gas platforms and pipelines as assets for an allied “green hydrogen” industry.
“We know offshore wind takes a long time to get off the ground…we’ve got to move fast,” said Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the industry group Business Network for Offshore Wind, on the opening day of its International Partnering Forum conference in Richmond, Va.
BNOW’s Gulf of Mexico working group conferred by video Tuesday with officials in Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which has been working since June on Bel Edwards’ request to seek commercial interest in developing wind power off his state.
The agency is taking its early look at a swath of the gulf outer continental shelf out to 4,000-foot depth for potential siting of fixed-foundation and floating wind turbines.
“We are at the very beginning of that process,” said Tershara Matthews of BOEM. The agency is reviewing comments from stakeholders – along with some proprietary information offered by potential wind developers – to assess its next steps.
“There was interest in both fixed and floating,” added Mike Celata of BOEM, with more tending toward fixed development on the shallower shelf. Most of that is focused west of Lafayette, La., with “overlapping interest” by different developers, he said.