Report: Offshore wind can benefit Louisiana


Louisiana businesses and workers stand to benefit from expansion of offshore wind nationally and in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Louisiana Offshore Wind Supply Chain Assessment, released by the Southeastern Wind Coalition, GNO Inc., Center for Planning Excellence, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with research partner and global energy consultancy Xodus Group. The report identifies recommendations to tap into more Louisiana know-how to help build offshore wind in U.S. waters. 

“This state is already a national leader for offshore construction. Harnessing that expertise and infrastructure for offshore wind is a logical next step,” said Hillary Bright, VP of Renewables for Xodus Group. “The opportunity for Louisiana is real, and it’s here right now for Louisiana’s suppliers.”

Louisiana businesses and workers stand to benefit from expansion of offshore wind nationally and in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report. (Courtesy: Xodus Group)

“The report is clear: Louisiana can be a leader in supplying the goods and services for the build out of offshore wind along both coasts,” said Courtney Durham Shane, a senior officer on Pew’s energy modernization project. “This industry is expected to bring over $100 billion in private investment and nearly 50,000 jobs across the U.S, much of which can be realized by Louisiana businesses and workers.” 

The findings come on the heels of the recent federal government announcement of new offshore lease opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, which have the potential to power up to 1.2 million homes and create jobs and economic development across Louisiana. The report also offers five steps the state should take to build its offshore wind opportunities and broaden its reputation as an energy leader. The recommendations include: 

Maximize export opportunities to strengthen business networks to position Louisiana for large contracts.    

Invest in offshore workforce and job sites.

Upgrade ports and support shipbuilding to support the maritime industry and leverage Louisiana’s shipbuilding reputation.

Capitalize on economic benefits of offshore wind by codifying a state procurement target, establishing a government agency to provide market certainty, ensure enforceable state goals, and drive additional private investments.

Lean into Louisiana leadership by coordinating state government, higher education, economic development organizations, and grant-funded innovation clusters to maximize Louisiana’s offshore wind industrial and employment power. 

“Louisiana is an energy leader and this report shows how the state can add wind to an already thriving offshore economy,” said Southeastern Wind Coalition’s Senior Program Manager Jenny Netherton. “With over 450 businesses that are offshore-ready, Louisiana’s workforce is poised to serve as the foundation of the offshore wind industry in the United States.” 

Also, there are more than 100 fabrication and manufacturing assets with strong potential to support offshore wind development when coupled with investments to reskill, retool, or expand their current operations. 

“Louisiana can lead in wind power the same way it has led in oil and gas production,” said Lacy McManus, executive director of Future Energy at Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Today, our state plays a vital role in bolstering the country’s offshore wind supply chain through manufacturing, engineering, design, and other services that leverage decades of expertise – setting the stage for Louisiana to be a global leader in wind energy production.”

More info