Wind energy is rapidly expanding as a source of renewable energy in the United States and across the world. At present, the main focus of Oregon’s wind energy industry has been inland, primarily on the Columbia River Plateau in north central Oregon. Offshore wind projects are not a focus in Oregon, but that may change in the near future.
On March 16, HB 3375 was introduced to the Oregon House of Representatives. The bill proposes that Oregon set a goal for the development of 3 GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, which according to the bill “would trigger immediate economic benefits to the state.” The bill would also establish a Task Force on Floating Offshore Wind Energy. The Task Force would gather input from local, regional, and federal entities and submit a floating offshore wind development strategic plan to the Legislative Assembly by September 15, 2022.
The Oregon bill comes at a time when offshore wind is taking center stage nationally. This week the Biden administration unveiled a plan that could potentially transform the United States into a leading producer of offshore wind energy. President Biden’s plan promises quicker permitting, billions in financing, and new acreage for offshore wind development. The plan sets the goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, and it aims to create tens of thousands of jobs to support the burgeoning industry.
Needless to say, if HB 3375 is passed, opportunities in offshore wind will explode in Oregon. Miller Nash’s Renewable Energy Industry Team continues to monitor this area of renewable energy law.