Competition + Cooperation = Regional Success

By Joe Martens

I’d like to call your attention to a new piece that bodes extremely well for the likelihood that offshore wind meets its tremendous potential in the Northeast.

It was co-written by our friend and colleague, NYSERDA CEO Alicia Barton, and the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Joseph Fiordalisio.

You should probably read the full piece (here) as it ran on greentechmedia.com on Monday.

But in short, Barton and Fiordalisio make an incredibly compelling case for offshore wind energy competition and cooperation.

Yes, competition among the states to build large-scale commercial offshore wind farms is intense – and that is how it should be. That competition will: lower prices, help develop a U.S. supply chain, employ thousands of workers and provide clean, affordable energy. They note that from Maryland to Massachusetts, states are soliciting bids and awarding contracts for offshore wind and are all over trying to maximize the potential for their states.

“This collective action by states is good news for our ability to reach our nation-leading clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, good news for cleaner air along the densely populated East Coast of the U.S., and really good news for our economies,” Barton and Fiordalisio write.

“Offshore wind represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an entirely new heavy marine, assembly, and manufacturing industry on the East Coast, bringing potentially tens of thousands of good new jobs, an opportunity to revitalize aging port infrastructure, and a chance to create a domestic offshore wind supply chain.”

First, we agree 100%.

But perhaps more than that, it’s refreshing to see public figures, from competing states, articulate a common vision for the region’s energy future. Maybe offshore wind, which the federal Department of the Interior is on board with, can help usher in a new era of collaboration.