Looking for a little advice: U.S. and Denmark coordinate on offshore wind

The U.S. and Denmark have agreed to share information and expertise on offshore wind energy development.
Looking for a little advice: U.S. and Denmark coordinate on offshore wind

Sometimes it helps to get advice from someone with a little more experience.

That’s what happened last week, when the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Management entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Danish government to further the development of offshore wind energy.

As the first offshore U.S. wind farm comes online later this year off the coast of Rhode Island, it will be helpful to gain some insights from our Danish counterparts, who have already seen robust offshore wind growth.

Paramount among the MOU’s objectives is to solidify a relationship between the two countries in which knowledge, experiences, science and best practices specific to offshore wind development are shared freely.

America is looking in the right place to share best practices about financing, locating, and operating successful offshore wind farms. Denmark has blazed the way to adoption of wind energy, with over 40 percent of its electricity already coming from wind, and about a quarter of that from offshore turbines. There’s much to learn from their decades of experience.

The first-of-its-kind MOU focused on furthering offshore wind development comes at an historic time for the U.S. offshore industry. America’s first offshore project, Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.

All told, there are 13 offshore wind projects spanning 10 states, representing almost 6,000 megawatts of capacity, in various stages of development off the East, West and Great Lakes coasts. BOEM has also issued 11 commercial wind leases along the Atlantic coast which, when fully developed, would generate enough energy to power over 4 million homes.

Cementing our collaborative working relationship with the government of Denmark will help to ensure that the early days of U.S. offshore wind development will benefit from the years of experience the Danes possess. It’s just another way we’re working to create a clean energy future.


Nancy Sopko is the Director of Offshore Wind and Federal Legislative Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association. In this role, Nancy is the lead on offshore wind issues for the association and focuses on building the political power of wind by increasing the level of engagement between AWEA’s member companies and Members of Congress and the administration. Before joining AWEA, Nancy worked at Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation advocacy organization, where she focused on promoting offshore wind development. Nancy also worked as Legislative Counsel for the Hon. John H. Adler (NJ-03) (deceased), the New Jersey State Legislature, and is a licensed attorney in the state of New Jersey.

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