The Bureau of Oceanic Energy Management recently released reporting that supports the development of offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico.
Based on data collected after exhaustively examining prevailing winds in the Gulf, it was noted that areas due south of Port Fourchon are sufficient to generate energy capable of powering homes, businesses, and communities.
In pursuing an “all forms” of energy approach to meeting our country’s current and future needs, GLPC Executive Director Chett Chiasson said the information being released about the wind potential that exists in the Gulf of Mexico can’t be ignored.
“We look at this from the mindset of us being a service-supply Port,” he said. “Our tenants and users can service all offshore energy, whether it be oil and gas, wind, or anything else that may emerge. What we agree on is there’s a place for all this energy when it comes to fulfilling the needs of America as we move forward into the 21st century and beyond.”
Chiasson has sat on numerous task forces examining the state’s future as it relates to offshore wind.
This participation has given Chiasson a unique perspective in learning more about why the state and particularly Port Fourchon are well suited to be a “hub” for the development of offshore wind in the Gulf region.
“We know the interest is there,” Chiasson said. “Our central location is key for us because when you are developing and constructing the various implements that go on and into the turbine structures it is important to be positioned appropriately to the source region where these potential wind farms will sit. To us, no place better accomplishes this than Port Fourchon.”
Tenants and users of Port Fourchon, including Edison Chouest Offshore have already participated in offshore wind projects in other locations around the country with ECO also beginning construction of the first Jones Act Wind Farm service vessel.
One key development that occurred in late March was the passage of a wind energy expansion bill by the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Republicans Joe Orgeron of Larose and Jerome “Zee” Zeringue of Houma co-authored the proposal that would allow up to 25,000 acres for a wind energy lease in state coastal waters.
Governor John Bel Edwards has set a goal of generating 5,000 megawatt of electricity from wind by 2035 as part of his climate plan.
The idea of embracing offshore wind energy is a forward-thinking approach based on being able to rely on much of the same workforce and expertise needed to build oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to Chiasson, the interest level from companies and businesses involved in offshore wind has only intensified in recent months.
“I obviously can’t go into great detail, but I can say there have been and continue to be request for conversations and meetings,” he said.
In fact, a recent trip to an International Partnering Offshore Wind Forum in New Jersey and a visit to the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston early this month have yielded meetings and promising discussions that bode well for Lafourche Parish moving forward.
Besides positive data being collected on the Gulf’s wind generation potential, the other driving force behind pursuing wind energy is the fact that the global offshore wind market is expected to grow from an estimated USD 31.8 billion in 2021 to USD 56.8 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.3% during this forecast period.
There’s no doubt offshore wind turbines are increasingly being installed and are showing robust growth based on information being generated by the ones currently in operation off the East Coast of the U.S.
“These partnerships are what will help pave the path for future endeavors and the strengthening of Lafourche Parish,” Lafourche Parish Government President Archie Chaisson said in a recent press release. “Being at the IPF Offshore Wind Forum was eye-opening experience. Lafourche Parish is uniquely positioned as the gateway to the gulf wind market, and we are excited about the potential that it brings.”
Port Fourchon’s centralized location and many infrastructure projects; both current and future, offer much in the way of advantages for anyone looking to embark on offshore wind construction in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We understand better than anyone who we are and what we can do as a service supply Port,” GLPCs Chett Chiasson said. “Our hope is others see what we are capable of and this leads to an abundance of opportunities. At the end of the day, we want to continue to be energy leaders because it’s something we do well and our workers are the best, most capable around to make sophisticated projects come to life.”