Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Literature Review and Gaps Analysis

Cynthia Bothwell, Melinda Marquis, Jessica Lau, Jian Fu, Liz Hartman

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy in the United States by 2030. Achieving this target will also unlock a pathway to 110 GW by 2050. One of the central challenges with meeting these targets is transmission constraints, including both land-based interconnections and transmission and offshore transmission, for both near- and long-term offshore wind energy deployment. Given offshore wind development, state goals (see Appendix A), mature technology for fixed-bottom offshore wind, and proximity to existing transmission infrastructure, most of the 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 will be developed along the Atlantic Seaboard. Increased development along the Atlantic Coast will likely require additional Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease areas farther from shore and advanced transmission technologies (e.g., high-voltage direct current [HVDC]). Nine eastern governors recently voiced their prioritization of offshore wind energy development including adequate transmission capacity. Reaching 110 GW or more of offshore wind by 2050 will likely involve development in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes. Despite unique differences, improving understanding of offshore wind transmission options, establishing coordination and aligning processes among states and regions, and quantifying the long-term impacts of offshore wind transmission options will catalyze offshore wind energy's growth not only in the Atlantic by 2030 but also nationally by 2050. To reach offshore wind development goals, this document reviews current publicly available transmission analysis along the Atlantic Coast and analysis gaps.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-81203

Other Report Number

  • DOE/EE-2503


  • Atlantic coast
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • literature review
  • offshore wind energy


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