New Oregon Department of Energy Report Outlines Benefits and Challenges to Floating Offshore Wind Off Oregon’s Coast

Source: RL Martin

A new report by the Oregon Department of Energy on floating offshore wind facilities outlines the benefits and challenges of integrating up to 3 gigawatts of floating offshore wind into Oregon’s grid by 2030. Off the Oregon coast, which has some of the strongest wind resources in the world, deeper sea floors would require floating offshore wind technology. The agency’s study provides a summary of important information and key findings from a review of existing literature; consultation with other state, regional, and national experts; and feedback from Oregon stakeholders over the past year. The study found that floating offshore wind could bring compelling benefits to the state, including helping Oregon achieve its clean energy goals, strengthening grid reliability and resilience, and bolstering economic development in coastal communities, among others. The study also acknowledges significant challenges, including concerns about the effects potential offshore wind development could have on coastal communities, the environment, natural and cultural resources, and existing coastal industries like fishing, recreation, and tourism; technology, transmission system, and port infrastructure readiness; and complex siting and permitting challenges. “Like all energy technologies, floating offshore wind development would carry important tradeoffs for Oregon,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “We hope our study provides policy and decisionmakers with helpful background and expert analysis as they continue conversations around how floating offshore wind could help Oregon reach our clean energy and climate goals.”