Offshore Wind: Today’s Challenges and Tomorrow’s Opportunities

Addressing and identifying key policy, market, and finance issues that will impact the direction of the offshore wind industry in the United States


Dec. 2, 2021 to Dec. 3, 2021

Event Series


Event Details

The Biden administration has set a target of 30 gigawatts of operational offshore wind capacity by 2030 as part of larger efforts to halve US emissions by the end of the decade and achieve net zero by midcentury. According to the Department of Energy, this goal would support 77,000 jobs, generate enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes, and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the US offshore wind industry is still nascent and several obstacles remain before such an ambitious goal can be realized. It requires coordinated action from states and the federal government, and the policies and market structures that are put in place today will have a huge impact on the future of the industry and its ability to deliver on the promise of clean energy, jobs, and technology.

Join Resources for the Future (RFF) on Thursday, December 2, and Friday, December 3, for a virtual workshop to address and identify key policy, market, and finance issues that will impact the direction of the offshore wind industry in the United States.

To attend this webinar, please RSVP and follow the instructions in the Zoom confirmation email.


Thursday, December 2

9:00 a.m. EST | Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Barbara Kates-Garnick, Resources for the Future, Tufts University

9:15 a.m. EST | Session 1: Lessons Learned and Key Challenges Ahead
As efforts to scale offshore wind projects take off, this session examines key opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. Our panelists will share successes from government and industry, as well as offer insights into critical issues facing offshore wind development in the United States, including governance, industry-building, labor, supply chains, siting and permitting, environmental impacts, and more.

  • James Bennett, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management | Slides
  • Timothy Bialecki, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission | Slides
  • Eric Hines, Tufts University | Slides
  • Bill White, Avangrid Renewables | Slides
  • Barbara Kates-Garnick, Resources for the Future, Tufts University (Moderator)

10:15 a.m. EST | Break

10:30 a.m. EST | Session 2: Local Considerations and Impacts of Offshore Wind Development
Offshore wind projects influence the local economy in communities in the short-term during construction and in the long-term during operation. This session looks at how offshore wind may affect host communities and to what extent the Jones Act—a century-old law that requires that only US–built ships can move goods between US ports—may affect development of these projects and their impacts.

  • Alison Bates, Colby College | Slides
  • John Hensley, American Clean Power Association | Slides
  • Jennifer McCann, University of Rhode Island | Slides
  • William Murray, Dominion Energy | Slides
  • Matthew Rosenberg, Government Accountability Office | Slides
  • Kathryne Cleary, Resources for the Future (Moderator)

11:45 a.m. EST | Closing Remarks
Barbara Kates-Garnick, Resources for the Future, Tufts University

Friday, December 3

9:00 a.m. EST | Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Karen Palmer, Resources for the Future

9:15 a.m. EST | Session 3: Transmission and Grid Modernization
Offshore wind developers and grid operators face several challenges in bringing projects to fruition and ultimately delivering electricity to the grid. Among these are finding locations to interconnect with the grid and making necessary upgrades to offshore and onshore transmission to enable delivery of power. These challenges are particularly acute given state goals and, in some cases, requirements for rapid development of offshore wind capacity in the coming decades as a part of state decarbonization policy. In this session, we will hear from experts about some of these challenges and ways to address them.

  • Carrie Cullen Hitt, National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium | Slides
  • James Ferris, Clean Energy Division, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities | Slides
  • Robert Gramlich, Grid Strategies | Slides
  • Yachi Lin, New York Independent System Operator | Slides
  • Melinda Marquis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Slides
  • Karen Palmer, Resources for the Future (Moderator)

10:30 a.m. EST | Break

10:45 a.m. EST | Session 4: Costs, Finance, and Risks and Rewards
There is considerable developer and investor interest in US offshore wind, but obstacles to widespread deployment remain. Among the advantages are certainty in near-term federal incentives—a 30 percent investment tax credit for projects that commence construction before 2026, states’ targets for offshore wind development, long power purchase agreements, and the potential for project cost declines. However, investors must be comfortable with the various risks of offshore wind, such as from technology, permitting, and transmission. In this session, we will consider the advantages, barriers, and risks of offshore wind development from the perspective of investors to understand the likelihood for large-scale deployment of offshore wind.

  • Tyler Johnson, Bracewell LLP | Slides
  • Chad Marriott, Stoel Rives | Slides
  • Ieva Ozola, Equinor | Slides
  • Jonathan Silver, Resources for the Future, Guggenheim Partners
  • Jay Bartlett, Resources for the Future (Moderator)

11:45 a.m. EST | Closing Remarks
Kristin Hayes, Resources for the Future



Timothy Bialecki

Energy Industry Analyst, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Bill White.jpg

Bill White

Head of US Offshore Wind, Avangrid Renewables

Matthew Rosenberg

Senior Analyst, US Government Accountability Office

Jim Ferris.jfif

James Ferris

Bureau Chief for New Technology, Clean Energy Division, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Yachi Lin.jfif

Yachi Lin

Senior Manager of Transmission Planning, NYISO

Ieva Ozola.jpg

Ieva Ozola

Project Leader Finance, Equinor

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