Article originally appears in CommonWealth, 10/12/18

With ranks of competitors shrinking, government must intervene

Edward N. Krapels | Oct 12, 2018 

THE OFFSHORE WIND ERA in the United States is here. With no need to burn fossil fuel, to enrich uranium, to dam rivers, or to build thousands of acres of solar panels, offshore wind is the most benign form of bulk power available to mankind.

Plans to seize the potential of offshore wind already have powerful momentum on the East Coast. Between Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey alone, more than 8,000 megawatts of wind power is envisioned. Building out 1,000 megawatts entails up to $5 billion of capital investment, drawing the attention of developers far and wide. So far, European companies — mostly giant, state-spawned enterprises with deep experience in the offshore — have been quickest to recognize this enormous investment opportunity. This week the Danish firm Ørsted bought the only remaining independent US company with offshore wind positions, Deepwater.

Ørsted’s acquisition of Deepwater naturally diminishes the amount of competition for offshore wind contracts. Policy-makers in Massachusetts should immediately take two actions.