Press Releases

Offshore Wind’s Biggest Month Ever

Apr 2, 2024

Approval of multiple new projects, new multi-state leases and agreements, and the first commercial scale offshore wind project coming online, mark the success of President Biden’s Clean Energy Agenda

Washington, D.C. — Today, The Biden-Harris administration announced the final approval of New England Wind, a 2,600 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. This comes on the heels of both the approval of Sunrise Wind, a 924 MW project off the coast of Long Island, New York last Tuesday, and the completion of South Fork Wind, the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States, earlier in March. 

The Biden-Harris administration also proposed auctions for four new lease areas in the Gulf of Mexico less than two weeks ago and finalized guidance for an Inflation Reduction Act bonus tax credit to better include energy communities and make it easier to build offshore wind projects in these communities, helping bring economic benefits to areas historically impacted by fossil fuel boom-bust cycles and pollution. 

State-level agencies and offices also continue to make important strides to push offshore wind forward. The country’s first tri-state solicitation from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut received proposals to develop a combined 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind when it closed last week. In New York, local labor unions signed a landmark project labor agreement for the construction of the state’s first offshore wind port, which is expected to break ground as soon as this week. 

This progress marks the phenomenal success of investments made through the Inflation Reduction Act and federal agencies focused on clean energy during President Biden’s first term. In response, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and our state affiliates in New York and Massachusetts released the following statements:

“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership the wind is at our back and the clean energy economy is booming,” said Sara Chieffo LCV’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “In just the last month we have seen the promise of offshore wind to fight the climate crisis and bring clean, reliable, cheaper energy across the country. Because of the Inflation Reduction Act and clean energy leadership from the Biden-Harris administration, communities across the country will have new investments in local economies, good-paying union jobs, and an economy built on clean energy.”

“These announcements mark a great moment for the future of clean energy in New York and the United States,” said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Following the completion of South Fork Wind earlier this month – a first-in-the-nation achievement – we were thrilled that Sunrise Wind was approved to become America’s next commercial-scale offshore wind development. And with Equinor establishing a historic Project Labor Agreement for the construction of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, we are witnessing the fulfillment of the twin promises of our clean energy transition: reducing our reliance on fossil fuels while providing family-sustaining union jobs and ensuring a robust clean energy labor market in the years ahead. Furthermore, as New York’s offshore wind industry takes flight, we are committed to helping ensure that our clean energy economy works for everyone, which is why we enthusiastically support the Biden Administration’s expansion of the IRA’s community tax provisions to include communities on the front line of offshore wind energy production.”

“Offshore wind represents the single biggest lever that New England states can pull to meet their climate goals, stabilize energy prices and build energy security and independence,” said Kelt Wilska, Offshore Wind Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and New England for Offshore Wind Regional Lead. “We believe that states must select bids that contain a balance of quantitative and qualitative (non-price) factors to appropriately value the details that will shape the industry’s interaction with our communities and environment. This balance ensures that developers take measurable steps to provide family sustaining union jobs and equitable access to economic opportunity, while delineating the benefits their projects will deliver to Environmental Justice populations and demonstrating benefits from mitigation, minimization, and avoidance of detrimental environmental and socioeconomic impacts. We are also encouraged that new tax guidance from the federal government will complement these environmental and economic benefits by lowering developer construction costs and ultimately reducing ratepayer impacts.”