Washington Maritime Blue launches collaborative initiative to activate regional offshore wind energy supply chain

Non-profit Washington Maritime Blue has announced the launch of the Maritime Blue Wind collaborative to expand Washington State’s leadership in the offshore wind energy supply chain.
Washington Maritime Blue launches collaborative initiative to activate regional offshore wind energy supply chain
Courtesy of NREL.

The collaborative will activate and mobilise the state’s technical and advanced manufacturing expertise, geographic proximity, naturally deep water ports, skilled workforce and industry leadership to power the supply chain ecosystem for floating offshore wind development anticipated off the coasts of California and Oregon.

Maritime Blue Founder and CEO Joshua Berger announced the new initiative yesterday (Tuesday10th October). Washington State Governor Jay Inslee; the Ports of Seattle and Everett; Herald Ugles, President, ILWU Local 19; and Sloane Perras, Vice President, Foss Offshore Wind were at the event to voice their support.

Blue Wind aims to protect existing maritime jobs and greatly expand sustainable and equitable employment opportunities for people living in Washington State, including shipbuilding, maritime operations, technology research and development, wind turbine and components manufacturing and materials transportation to offshore sites in Oregon and California.

“More states and countries are looking to offshore wind to generate massive amounts of clean energy – and they need the kind of skilled workforce, advanced manufacturing capabilities and deepwater ports Washington has to build needed materials and components” said Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. “Washington is a leader in building a clean energy economy, and Maritime Blue’s Blue Wind collaborative will help Washington seize this opportunity to be a leader in the clean energy supply chain as well.”

The Biden-Harris administration has set ambitious goals for offshore wind generation, and both California and Oregon currently plan to generate offshore wind energy by 2030. Washington State has yet to define a process for considering offshore wind generation off its coast.

Offshore Wind (OSW) is projected to grow into a $70 billion industry in the US in the next decade, fueled by an expected $109 billion in private supply chain investments by 2030 according to a Special Initiative on Wind Power report. More than 65 percent of projected US wind energy is anticipated to be generated from floating offshore wind.

“Our leading-edge maritime, aerospace, technology, and innovation industries position Washington State with the talent, critical infrastructure, industry partnerships, and workforce to be a leading and collaborative supply chain provider for floating offshore wind development” added Washington Maritime Blue Founder and CEO, Joshua Berger. “This is truly one of the largest maritime opportunities since the advent of the shipping container. The Blue Wind collaborative will define the roadmap and innovation path to ensuring Washington State’s role as we coordinate these efforts throughout the West Coast.”

Blue Wind will formally convene its leadership committee in the coming weeks to guide the collaborative’s priorities and working groups. Blue Wind will be led by the region’s port, industry, and labor leaders, and in coordination with tribal, fishing, and coastal communities, to develop the state’s offshore wind supply chain strategy and begin building a detailed plan to drive the process forward in an equitable way. 

“September was the hottest September ever” said Commissioner Ryan Calkins, Port of Seattle. “As was August and July and June. Each served as a reminder of the urgent need for more renewable energy to replace the fossil fuels contributing to wildfires, floods, and harm to our fisheries and coastal communities. Washington State’s industry and skilled workforce are unparalleled in maritime and manufacturing expertise, which gives us a unique opportunity to grow green careers to support California and Oregon’s ambitious plans for offshore wind - one of the most promising and least environmentally impactful sources of renewable energy.”

Other supporters include the City of Seattle, the Port of Everett and Foss Offshore Wind.

A non-profit, Maritime Blue receives operational and project funding through public, private, and philanthropic grant dollars. The Blue Wind media event was hosted at The Northwest Seaport Alliance on Pier 46 in Seattle.

Maritime Blue, in partnership with the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET), will be hosting a Northwest Offshore Wind Supply Chain Summit on November 16, 2023 in Vancouver, Washington as an introduction to the opportunities for supply chain engagement.

For additional information:

Washington Maritime Blue

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