Wind has powered industry for centuries. But wind turbines do a little more than grind grain nowadays - they power entire regions. The potential for offshore wind energy in the United States is enormous, and Washington state announced a new initiative Tuesday to leap to the forefront of manufacture and distribution of the components the industry will require.
“Today we’re here to announce the launch of our latest formal initiative: the Blue Wind Supply Chain Collaborative,” said Joshua Berger, CEO of Maritime Blue. “Offshore wind is expected to be a $70 billion industry in the U.S. over the next decade. The collaborative aims to ensure that our region plays a significant part in this market.”
There's a challenge: two-thirds of the waters where offshore wind might work are too deep for traditional submerged platforms. We'll have to make wind turbines float. But inventive solutions already exist, and Washington boasts a workforce with considerable engineering prowess.
The offshore wind supply chain market poses an opportunity valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Many thousands of jobs might be created. And the state is moving forward with a transparent, inclusive process to partner with Tribes, labor, science, coastal communities, governments, and industry to move forward as one.
“To put this into context, what Louisiana has in the oil industry, we could have in offshore wind. The opportunity is huge,” said Inslee. “And I’m less worried about wind spills than I am about oil spills in the Gulf.”