Biden Offshore Wind Boost Could Trigger Helicopter Advantage


In what may be a boon to the oil and gas-battered offshore helicopter industry, the Biden administration has indicated it is fully dedicated to offshore wind, particularly in an 800,000-acre area along of the New York-New Jersey coast known as the New York Bight.

In late March, the White House announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), along with the Home Office, had established a priority wind power zone in the bay. Overall, the administration has targeted the production of 30 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from offshore wind by 2030, enough energy to power 10 million homes and trigger more than 12 billion dollars per year in capital spending on the east and west coasts of the United States. BOEM said it was already moving over potentially 19 GW from this target, with plans to complete lease reviews on 16 projects. Ultimately, the White House said it was targeting 110 GW of offshore wind power by 2050 and was supporting projects in the bay as well as others off the coast of New York to this end. Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Federal funds could be made available to related airlines participating in these projects. The Department of Transport is calling for applications for $ 230 million in port projects and “intermodal infrastructure projects” that will support offshore wind power through the Maritime Authority’s Port Infrastructure Development Grants, including ” ships to load and move items to offshore wind farms ”. The Department of Energy’s loan program office is making an additional $ 3 billion in loan guarantees available to offshore wind-related companies.

In January, consultancy firm Air & Sea Analytics predicted that the helicopter fleet serving the offshore wind market will grow by at least 100 planes worth $ 1 billion by 2030. The Global offshore wind energy infrastructure is served by as many as 40 helicopters, according to current estimates. Major oil and gas helicopter companies are planning to expand into the offshore wind market. Earlier this year, Chris Bradshaw, CEO of Bristow Group, called offshore wind a “strategic priority” for the company, predicting that “new wind farms planned for development will require the support of offshore helicopters”.

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