A Spatial-Economic Cost-Reduction Pathway Analysis for U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Development from 2015–2030
This report describes a comprehensive effort undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to understand the cost of offshore wind energy for markets in the United States. The study models the cost impacts of a range of offshore wind locational cost variables for more than 7,000 potential coastal sites in U.S. offshore wind resource areas. It also assesses the impact of more than 50 technology innovations on potential future costs for both fixed- bottom and floating wind systems. Comparing these costs to an initial site-specific assessment of local avoided generating costs, the analysis provides a framework for estimating the economic potential for offshore wind. The analysis is intended to inform a broad set of stakeholders and enable an assessment of offshore wind as part of energy development and energy portfolio planning. It provides information that federal and state agencies and planning commissions could use to inform initial strategic decisions about offshore wind developments in the United States.