Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., has released a new report providing a roadmap for Virginia’s offshore wind supply chain.
The report analyzes the state’s potential strategic role in the U.S.’ offshore wind industry. The recommendations include establishing a regional supply chain collaborative with neighboring states, creating a Virginia Office for Offshore Wind, soliciting anchor tenant suppliers and expanding workforce development opportunities.
“Virginia has a clear opportunity to act as a leader in driving the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” says Northam. “Growing the supply chain sector at this early stage will prepare Virginia to competitively deliver the development of our own offshore wind resources in the coming years.”
The state’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) entered into a contract with BVG Associates LLC (BVGA) to develop the report. The report details the large pipeline of offshore wind projects along the East Coast and provides insight into the areas the industry regards as priority, including a reliable, broad-based supplier network coupled with regionally optimized logistics. The report highlights Virginia as a location of choice for a supply chain hub due to a host of unique advantages, including port infrastructure, location, maritime capacity and workforce.
“As offshore wind projects accelerate rapidly along the East Coast, Virginia can lead in attracting the supply chain industry to support this development,” says Brian Ball, secretary of commerce and trade. “With the potential to provide thousands of local jobs, the report highlights efforts to attract this industry. Those efforts include the creation of a state office focused on offshore wind, as well as regional collaboration to help ensure that offshore wind projects on the East Coast come online as cost-competitively and quickly as possible.”
“Regional collaboration will deliver the most effective offshore wind supply chain,” notes BVGA’s advisory director, Andy Geissbuehler. “It is critical that Virginia’s leaders keep the momentum going toward developing a regional supply chain cluster in order to make the most of the opportunities presented as states to the north develop their wind energy areas first.”
In completing its work, BVGA partnered with DMME, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Port of Virginia and Virginia’s maritime industry trade associations. The team engaged Hampton Roads-area local government, economic and workforce development officials in its opportunity analysis.
“The commonwealth’s lead-by-example effort to align businesses interested in offshore wind with an industry at the early stages of development is the most important step in enabling the East Coast offshore wind build-out,” says DMME’s director, John Warren. “A timely supply-chain entry will equip Virginia with the skills and infrastructure needed to participate in this major industry growth opportunity.”
More on the report can be found here.