Offshore Wind Energy Resources

Offshore wind resources in the U.S. are not only vast, they are also located near the fastest-growing electricity demand centers: coastal areas, which are among the most populated parts of the country. Offshore wind development, therefore, offers something that is extremely valuable for our economy, environment, and national security: a source of clean, domestic, inexhaustible energy with which to meet fast-growing electricity demand, in close proximity to population centers.

Like their land-based counterparts, offshore wind farms are likely to be built in areas with large regional power markets that facilitate smooth and cost-effective integration of wind into the overall electric system. While many other countries have wind projects installed in offshore waters, the United States so far has not installed any offshore projects despite the benefits such projects could offer. A  National Renewable Energy Laboratory study found that 54 GW of offshore wind energy facilities would generate an estimated $200 billion in new economic activity and create more than 43,000 permanent, well-paying technical jobs in manufacturing, construction, engineering, and operations and maintenance.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently provided an update on offshore wind development in the United States.

Offshore Wind Energy Chart


More Information

American Wind Energy Association

Bloomberg News. (July 17, 2014). U.S. to Auction Site Off Jersey Shore for Offshore Wind.

Brattle Group. (2013). A Learning Investment-Based Analysis of the Economic Potential for Offshore Wind: The Case of the United States

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Center for American Progress. The Economic Case for Offshore Wind in America (video). Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) leads a conversation about the future of offshore wind in the United States.

Clean Energy States Alliance

Dvorak, M.; Corcoran, B.; Ten Hoeve, B.; McIntyre, N.; Jacobson, M. (2012). U.S. East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Resources and Their Relationship to Peak-Time Electricity Demand (PDF 1.9 MB)

European Wind Energy Association. (July 2013). Deep Water: The Next Step for Offshore Wind Energy (PDF 1.2 MB)

According to this report, offshore wind turbines could potentially supply more than four times the electricity needs of the European Union.

Focus Forward Films. (2013). Fishermen’s Energy (video)

GreenTech Media. (May 23, 2013). U.S. Offshore Wind Fact Sheet

Illinois Department of Natural Resources. (June 2012). Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Report (PDF 1.7 MB)

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. (June 2013). Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans (PDF 1.9 MB)

National Wildlife Federation. (2014). Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power

National Wildlife Federation. (2012). The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife, and Secure America’s Energy Future

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Nature. (September 24, 2014). Renewable Energy: Wind Power Tests the Waters.

New York State Department of State. (July 2013). Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study (PDF 27 MB). This study was developed “to aid the siting and associated state and federal regulatory review of future offshore wind energy projects.” Read more about the study here.

Offshore Wind Accelerator Project. Collaborative Procurement of Offshore Wind Energy – A Buyers Network: Assessment of Merits and Approaches (PDF 3.1 MB). This report demonstrates how the purchase of significant amounts of offshore wind energy by a buyers network—in combination with low-cost financing and extension of key federal tax credits—could substantially lower its costs in the near-term.


U.S. Department of Energy


U.S. Department of the Interior


U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative’s Offshore WindHub