New Study Demonstrates the Need for Offshore Wind Development in Washington
Seattle, WA – Trident Winds Inc., a Seattle-based offshore wind developer, has released a new study demonstrating the need for and value of offshore wind development in Washington State. The study, titled “System Value of Offshore Wind in Washington” examines how development of offshore wind off the coast of Washington could contribute to the state’s energy and climate goals at the least cost to ratepayers. The study was commissioned by Trident Winds and conducted by E3 – Energy + Environmental Economics, a leading energy consulting firm and provider of electrical system modeling for states and utilities in the Pacific NW and throughout the country. A Trident Winds executive summary is available for download here and the E3 report is available for download here.
“The study results demonstrate that offshore wind off the Washington state coast is a high value, renewable resource available on the West side of the state that matches well with the demand profile and the location of the demand. Once developed offshore wind would make a significant contribution to the state’s ability to meet its energy and climate goals,” said Alla Weinstein, CEO of Trident Winds.
Offshore wind off the coast of Washington is much stronger and more reliable than onshore wind resources elsewhere in Washington. It peaks during the winter when Washington’s demand for electricity is the greatest. Experts, such as the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, have noted that the region is falling behind in its push to add over 3.5 gigawatts of new clean energy by 2027. Offshore wind should be considered as a key solution to meeting this need.
“Based on 2023 regional projections of electrical energy load, a “20 percent increase in load growth” in the next 5 years is now anticipated, with the highest energy demand peaks during the Winter. This is a big shift in energy demand projections from the 2022 regional projection and will require the addition of multiple gigawatts of new capacity by 2033. The offshore wind energy represents the largest renewable resource during winter months that occurs off the southern Washington coast. Tapping this massive winter-peaking renewable energy resource is probably one of the critical keys to meeting our clean energy needs in the foreseeable future,” said David Nightingale, CEM, Independent Energy Consultant.
The study evaluated Northwest energy capacity needs and resource options, finding that offshore wind is a proven technology ideally positioned to benefit the state’s decarbonization strategy given its ability to serve load in winter months when regional demand is at its peak.
“Offshore wind production is at its highest in winter months,” said Arne Olson, Senior Partner at E3. “It will be an important resource for Washington to consider as other technologies such as onshore wind and solar are less ideally suited for providing power Washington’s peak season for energy usage.”
In addition to offshore wind’s ability to produce strongly during periods of peak demand, the E3 study identified other general system benefits of leveraging offshore wind in Washington – including the potential to reduce system costs for Washington ratepayers by over $5 billion in net present value.
E3’s System Value of Offshore Wind in Washington study encompasses the 2025-2045 timeframe of Washington state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act. It leverages work of prior studies in the Northwest, national energy lab data, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 2021 Northwest power Plan, Washington’s 2021 State Energy Strategy, the 2020 Western Electricity Coordinating Council Anchor Data Set of expected builds and transformation resources and other relevant public information and plans.
Washington state would be hard pressed to ignore this high value, large magnitude clean energy resource that could be delivered directly toon the West side of the state.
For more information about the study and Trident Winds, please contact Taylor Bickford at email@example.com
About Trident Winds
Trident Winds is realizing the future of clean, renewable offshore wind energy through the development of floating offshore wind farms on the West Coast of the United States. We’re on a mission to provide a clean energy future and economic opportunities for the communities we operate in. In April 2022, Trident Winds submitted an Unsolicited Lease Request to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management for a commercial lease to pursue permitting, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the first floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Washington state. The Olympic Wind project is planned to be sited 43 miles off the coast of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties, taking advantage of a vast offshore wind resource that will deliver approximately 2,000 Megawatts of carbon-free energy. The project is expected to generate significant jobs and economic benefits for local communities while helping Washington meet its ambitious climate goals and clean energy targets. Learn more at www.TridentWinds.com.
E3 Consulting Firm
The E3 Consulting firm has 30 years of experience in energy policy, economics, and engineering. They have produced cutting edge work and modeling of the Pacific Northwest system plans and forecasts for 100% renewable energy and resource adequacy modeling for Northwest utilities. E3’s “Resolve” is an electrical system capacity expansion model which estimates the cost-effectiveness of various resource acquisition strategies.