Office of Offshore Wind Industry Development
In July 2021, New Hampshire established and funded the Office of Offshore Wind Industry Development at the Department of Energy.
The Office of Offshore Wind Industry Development is tasked with supporting the work of the New Hampshire members of the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Task Force, the New Hampshire Commission to Study Offshore Wind and Port Development, and coordinating New Hampshire's offshore wind industry economic development policy, among other roles.
In January of 2019, Governor Christopher Sununu requested that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) establish an intergovernmental offshore wind renewable energy Task Force for the state. Given the regional nature of offshore wind energy development, BOEM decided to establish a Gulf of Maine Task Force – including representation from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and federally recognized Tribes in the area. Governor Sununu's letter to BOEM can be found here.
The purpose of the Commission is to study the potential economic and environmental benefits and impacts of offshore wind development for the State of New Hampshire. The Commission is investigating the economic development opportunities for New Hampshire in supply chain needs, port capabilities, workforce development, energy procurement, transmission and storage, and fisheries and marine environment, to ensure the success of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. The Commission may also investigate whether contracts with developers and utilities can deliver lower costs to ratepayers.
Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Infrastructure and Supply Chain Opportunities as it Relates to the Deployment of Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine
In March 2021, Governor Sununu signed Executive Order 2021-03 which ordered various state agencies to jointly study and report on the historical and forward looking greenhouse gas reduction potential of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine at varying levels of system installations as well as New Hampshire's existing port infrastructure, coastal transmission infrastructure, and opportunities for New Hampshire to attract offshore wind supply chain operations to New Hampshire.
On February 10, 2022, The New Hampshire Departments of Energy, Business and Economic Affairs, and Environmental Services released that report. Jared Chicoine, Commissioner of the New Hampshire DOE, said "The deployment of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine could be quite consequential for New Hampshire and the entire region in the coming years. We are optimistic that this report can be a tool in exploring how various opportunities and impacts related to offshore wind could affect Granite Staters."
Deployment of Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine New Hampshire Impact Assessment
The viability of the deployment of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine has been in discussion for many years. As the industry matured and technologies improved, the call to take a more substantial review of the potential for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine increased. The New Hampshire Department of Energy has undertaken a Request for Proposals to assess the potential environmental, economic, and energy impacts in New Hampshire of development of offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Maine.