The US has one of the most ambitious clean energy goals, much of which will depend on achieving the 2030 goal of 30 GW offshore wind (OSW) capacity. There is an urgent need to plan the transmission grid necessary for achieving these ambitions. The most efficient long-term grid development routes may be closed if proactive and comprehensive planning for long-term transmission needs is not undertaken immediately, while the more appealing near-term transmission alternatives will also not be identified.

This has been highlighted by a recent report prepared by the Brattle Group on behalf of American Clean Power Association (ACP), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Clean Air Task Force (CATF), GridLab, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The report titled ‘The Benefit and Urgency of Planned Offshore Transmission’ outlines the benefits of starting collaborative planning processes for OSW transmission to reduce costs, and environmental and community impacts; increase grid reliability, and make it possible to achieve climate and clean energy goals in a timely manner. Additionally, it also summarises the obstacles that currently prevent these benefits from being realised. According to its analysis, transmission planning over the next several decades could save up to USD20 billion in transmission costs to support the nation’s 2030 OSW goals.

The report also makes specific recommendations for actions that states, grid operators, the federal administration and key federal agencies, as well as industry stakeholders need to take to pave the way for no-regrets grid solutions that will enable achieving short- and long-term OSW goals in a more timely and cost-effective manner.

The report can be accessed here