Gulf of Mexico
via NREL/BOEM

TX - Offshore Wind Could Meet 166% of Texas's Electricity Demand

The U.S. state of Texas has an offshore wind potential in the Gulf of Mexico that could provide the state with 166 per cent of its electricity needs, according to the recently published Offshore Wind for America report, which found that offshore wind could meet 90 per cent of the U.S. projected 2050 electricity demand.

Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, a state branch of Environment America Research & Policy Center which issued the report, has called on the state of Texas to form a task force to begin siting offshore wind after the federal government last year identified Port Isabel and Port Arthur as viable sites for offshore wind and selected the two Texas towns for more detailed cost analysis.

There are currently 34 proposals for offshore wind development in the U.S., including 27 projects in various stages of planning and development, totalling more than 26 GW of installed capacity. However, there are no offshore wind farms planned in the Gulf of Mexico yet.

The Gulf of Mexico has unique attributes, and challenges, for developing offshore wind. Shallow, warm water, smaller waves, and existing offshore infrastructure and expertise are an advantage, while lower wind speeds and hurricane risk are challenges, according to Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas Research & Policy Center.

“With strong winds in the evenings when we need energy the most, offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico would greatly complement Texas’ onshore renewable energy resources and help us achieve 100% clean power”, Luke Metzger said. “We can put the infrastructure and expertise we developed for offshore drilling to work developing this abundant, clean resource”.

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