Updated: Jan 21, 2020
On November 7, 2019, Karp Strategies’ Cheryl Lim attended The Waterfront Alliance and The General Contractors Association of New York’s event ‘Offshore Wind on New York State’s Horizon: A Discussion on Maximizing Potential and Addressing Barriers.’ Panelists included Liz Burdock, CEO and President of the Business Network for Offshore Wind; Boone Davis, President and CEO for Atlantic Offshore Terminals; Joe Martens, Director, New York Offshore Wind Alliance; and Michael Stamatis, President and CEO for Red Hook Terminals.
The event educated the audience about the importance of offshore wind development in North America. To date, there is only one offshore wind farm currently in operation in the United States - the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island. In January of 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to quadruple New York State’s offshore wind target from the current 2.4 GW to 9 GW by 2035, putting New York State at the forefront of developing clean energy on the East Coast.
Martens opened the panel by noting successes from Europe - the first wind farm was built in 1991 in Denmark, powering 2,200 homes for almost three decades. Echoing Martens’ sentiments about the offshore wind market in Europe that has “created about 75,000 jobs” to date, Stamatis noted that similarly, “tens of thousands of jobs” will be created here in the United States. Burdock highlighted the United States’ speed in committing to offshore wind targets and state commitments to providing financial mechanisms to realize these projects. Davis stressed the importance of ensuring that infrastructure - especially related to ports - is upgraded to support the high capacity expected of the estimated 1,000+ turbines that will enter through New York harbor, with all of these facilities serving crucial roles in the supply chain.
As Karp Strategies’ continues thinking about the development of clean energy and mechanisms in which to harness its potential, a few lingering questions remain active on our minds:
What lessons from Europe can apply to the American context?
What are the biggest barriers to developing a strong workforce that can supply labor for such large-scale projects?
How can we employ the best methods to educate stakeholders on the importance and benefits of renewable energy and offshore wind?