Gov. Edwards plans to harness offshore energy production through wind power development in Louisiana. He announced a Gulf of Mexico’s renewable energy initiative during the Climate Initiatives Task Force inaugural meeting. This task force creation took place this year with the help of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Dr. Walter Cruickshank.
The task force is all-round comprising of local, state, and federal officials. Its responsibility is to develop a blueprint ideal for the Gulf of Mexico’s renewable energy production. According to the governor, it is a plan and not the regular promises made only for the show. He backs that with the upcoming offshore wind energy industry and the fact that there is an operational offshore gas and oil industry in Louisiana. It is no secret it has played a massive role in U.S. offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic Ocean.
For instance, its liftboat operators played a role in the development of Block Island, the first-ever commercial offshore wind farm in the country. It is at the coast of Rhode Island, and it came to be with the help of Aries Marine Corp. of Lafayette and Falcon Global LLC of Galliano. Other contributors were Houma’s Gulf Island Fabrication and Metairie’s Keystone Engineering. The former built both foundation jackets & piling, whereas the latter was in charge of design assistance.
U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory gave some incredible numbers. During the creation of a 600-megawatt wind farm. 4,400 people would secure jobs. Equally important, its economic output will be about $445 million just within its construction period alone.
The future seems to be even brighter with creating 150 permanent jobs once operations begin besides annual spending of approximately $14 million. As far as the U.S. offshore wind energy capacity, forecasts say that it will have improved to 22 gigawatts and contribute about 45,000 jobs. The figure only highlights new and direct job opportunities. However, to realize that, there is a need to invest around $70 billion in port infrastructure and manufacturing.
If things go as planned, the Gulf of Mexico will become the producer of up to 10% of wind energy in the U.S. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory deduced the findings. It used data from the Bureau of Ocean Management’s two three-year studies, focusing on its economic potential and technical feasibility.
Michal Hecht, President, and CEO of GNO Inc., says that the offshore wind is something the residents of Louisiana should look forward to since its opportunities come in many ways. He said that it would extend the area’s natural energy industry. It also involves the manufacturing of things such as wind turbine blades. Besides, Louisiana already has an excellent reputation as far as environmental management is concerned. The project will ensure that it not only retains but also improves it.