In the media

Entergy, Mitsubishi units agree to study offshore wind power in Gulf of Mexico

By Mark Watson

S&P Global

26 September 2022

PA Consulting energy markets expert Mark Repsher and PA’s energy transition expert Alon Carmel discuss potential offshore wind developments in the Gulf of Mexico.

The article notes that two Entergy utilities in Louisiana have agreed with Diamond Offshore Wind, part of Mitsubishi, about evaluating and possibly developing wind generation in the Gulf of Mexico, which drew a variety of comments Sept. 26 from industry observers about the value of such an effort. Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans announced a memorandum of understanding Sept. 23 with Diamond Offshore Wind “regarding the evaluation and potential early development of wind power generation in the Gulf of Mexico,” which Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May called “an important first step to possibly bring wind power to our Louisiana shores.”

Asked how offshore wind resources might withstand the Gulf of Mexico’s frequent tropical cyclones, Alon said, “Hurricanes are a key risk for offshore wind farms off the US coasts. and the supply chain is developing machines and foundations that are resilient to extreme winds.”

Regarding the practicality of developing wind capacity offshore, Alon said the effort could be expedited by the following:

  • An efficient planning/consenting regime
  • A process that facilitates quick, reasonably priced interconnection
  • A power purchase agreement or offshore renewable energy credits scheme to hedge risk and facilitate financing
  • A well-developed US supply chain

Mark added that “the Gulf of Mexico presents an exciting lease area for the development of offshore wind, including off the coast of Louisiana.” Wind speeds “are not nearly the quality found along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but legacy know-how from seabed oil development in the region presents investors with a geography with ready-made infrastructure and job base to expedite the build-out of wind in the region.”

He said the early 2030s would be “likely the earliest I would expect large-scale deployment of wind in the region.”

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