After the markets in European countries such as Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK had long been the focus of attention as the cradle of offshore wind energy, the expansion is now gaining momentum worldwide. This is also benefiting the energy company RWE, which has achieved another important auction success in the USA.
While China has managed to leap to the top of the global offshore wind energy markets within just a few years, development in the USA is slowly following suit. But here too, against the backdrop of government expansion plans over the next few years to an offshore capacity of 30,000 MW (30 GW) by 2030, there are signs of huge market growth. The award of the first auction by the US Department of the Interior for offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico is an important success for RWE in the further expansion of its plant portfolio.
RWE US wind portfolio grows by 2,000 MW thanks to auction success
In the auction conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a total of three lease areas with potential for offshore wind projects with a total installed capacity of over 3,700 MW (3.7 GW) have been awarded.
The Essen-based energy company RWE has secured the OCS-G 37334 acreage with a bid of 5.6 million US dollars. The area is located 44 miles off the coast of Louisiana in water depths of 10 to 20 meters. The lease area has the potential for the installation of offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of up to 2,000 MW (2 GW). The project is expected to be operational by the mid-2030s, depending on permits issued.
“In 2022 we entered the U.S. offshore market and quickly expanded from coast-to-coast. Entering a new region in the Gulf is an exciting milestone to further deploy over 20 years of expertise across the value chain and deliver a new energy resource into the region”, said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind.
As part of Governor John Bel Edwards’ Climate Action Plan, Louisiana has set a goal of achieving 5,000 MW (5 GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2035. RWE has been involved early in the development of the offshore wind industry in the region, including working with Greater New Orleans, Inc. to accelerate supply chain integration in Louisiana and identify companies that could also become active in the offshore wind industry.
USA of key importance for RWE strategy
The USA plays a key role in RWE’s strategy to expand its renewables business. In 2022, RWE has already been successful in two offshore auctions and has secured marine acreage on both coasts of the US. On the East Coast, RWE is developing an offshore project with the potential for more than 3,000 MW (3 GW) of capacity in a joint venture with National Grid Ventures Community Offshore Wind. In California, the company is working to develop one of the first commercial-scale floating offshore wind projects with the potential for 1,600 MW (1.6 GW) of capacity.
With 8,000 MW (8 GW) of installed capacity, RWE is the fourth largest renewable energy company in the U.S. and the second largest owner and operator of solar assets. RWE’s 1,500 local employees are currently developing projects totaling more than 24,000 MW (24 GW), one of the largest development pipelines in the United States.