A Supply Chain Road Map for Offshore Wind Energy in the United States

Matt Shields, Jeremy Stefek, Frank Oteri, Matilda Kreider, Elizabeth Gill, Sabina Maniak, Ross Gould, Courtney Malvik, Sam Tirone, Eric Hines

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


"A Supply Chain Road Map for Offshore Wind Energy in the United States" identifies pathways to developing a domestic offshore wind supply chain that can manufacture and deploy the major components needed to set the United States on a pathway to installing 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 110 GW by 2050. The report estimates that this supply chain could require an investment of at least $22.7 billion this decade to meet an annual demand for components, ports, and vessels in 2030. Although this is a considerable investment, it could allow the industry to install around $100 billion worth of offshore wind this decade by reducing risk of delays due to global supply chain bottlenecks and creating a robust network of assets that will continue to be effective well beyond 2030. The United States would need at least 34 manufacturing facilities employing 10,000 workers, 39,000 jobs in the supporting supply chain, 10 marshaling ports, 4-6 dedicated wind turbine installation vessels, 4-6 dedicated heavy-lift vessels, and 4-8 U.S.-flagged specialized feeder barges to come online this decade to support an average annual deployment of 4-6 gigawatts offshore wind capacity per year. This supply chain could be developed in 6-9 years, but would require near-term decision making and efficient permitting and planning to strategically develop these resources by 2030. Additional investment and expansion would be required in the 2030s as the sector expands into new regions (such as the Gulf of Mexico) and new technologies (such as larger wind turbines and floating wind energy projects). Furthermore, the planning process needs to meaningfully engage with communities that will be impacted by supply chain expansion to achieve just outcomes and maximize benefits to these stakeholders, which will result in a more equitable and sustainable supply chain. While U.S. offshore wind has made significant progress in recent years, remaining supply chain challenges include uncertainty surrounding deployment and procurement timelines; a lack of port and vessel infrastructure; and limitations in the available workforce, supporting supplier networks, and energy justice best practices. However, many of these problems can be addressed through improved communication between key stakeholder groups, support from federal and state governments, and forward-thinking designs of supply chain assets to accommodate future technology changes for fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind. Although it is a significant task, developing these domestic capabilities represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to contribute to a decarbonized energy future and also create massive economic benefits that are distributed throughout the country.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages209
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-84710


  • energy justice
  • manufacturing
  • offshore wind
  • ports and vessels
  • supply chain
  • workforce


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