Comparing Offshore Wind Energy Procurement and Project Revenue Sources Across U.S. States

Philipp Beiter, Jenny Heeter, Paul Spitsen, David Riley

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The pace of offshore wind energy procurement in the United States has rapidly accelerated in recent years. U.S. states along the Atlantic Coast have set procurement goals for offshore wind energy to meet renewable portfolio standards and serve state policy needs. By the end of 2019, projects with a total capacity of 6.4 gigawatts (GW) had established long-term contracts (or equivalent regulatory requirements) with utility off-takers. The prices established in these contracts since 2017 have been well below expectations from many industry observers, prompting stakeholders to compare price levels across U.S. states and globally. However, comparing procurement prices across projects and jurisdictions is often challenging because of differences in project parameters, support regimes, supply chains, and the applicable tax and regulatory environment. These characteristics provide critical context for understanding project revenue streams, delivery obligations, and risk allocation, which need to be accounted for when comparing across different projects. In combination, variation in these characteristics between projects results in measurable differences in project costs and revenues and, consequently, in different offer bids. In this report, we systematically analyze offshore wind energy support regimes across U.S. states. Because offshore wind energy procurement prices from U.S. projects are often compared not only among states but also with European tenders, this report also provides an overview of support regimes and taxonomy used in European offshore wind markets. The content of this report was derived from a literature review, primarily regulatory filings and summary reports, and 16 interviews with leading industry experts from state agencies, energy sector consultancies, and law practices. The comparison between U.S. states focuses on several dimensions, including statutory authority, solicitation procedures, procurement goals and awards, and the structuring of physical and transactional delivery of energy services.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages66
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-76079


  • CFD
  • contract for difference
  • offshore renewable energy certificate
  • Offshore wind
  • OREC
  • policy instruments
  • power purchase agreement
  • PPA
  • procurement


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