"I am thrilled to be joining SIOW as interest in U.S. offshore wind reaches a fever pitch," said Sopko, who has worked at AWEA since April 2015 and led the association's federal and state policy and outreach efforts for U.S. offshore wind development. Prior to that she served as policy advocate at Oceana, Inc. and legislative counsel for U.S. Representative John Adler (D-NJ-3).
"Stephanie has done an exceptional job at SIOW laying out a road map for U.S. offshore wind success and strengthening relationships with other sectors, such as oil & gas, that will benefit from expanded business opportunities, jobs and synergies in the U.S. supply chain," said Sopko. "It's a privilege to join SIOW, build on the ties Stephanie has forged and broaden the tent of offshore wind supporters in other affected constituencies."
Since its launch in 2014, SIOW has worked to provide research and a clear road map of economic drivers for making the U.S. OSW market competitive. In 2015, SIOW co-authored a study with the State of New York quantifying the role of scale in cutting ratepayer costs and increasing benefits for the state. In 2016, an SIOW study for the State of Massachusetts found that the best way to lower the levelized cost of energy was firm commitments to a big OSW market.
Today, U.S. OSW is on a roll. Bids in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's recent auction for new Massachusetts lease areas reached a record $405 million, and last month New York State almost quadrupled its OSW commitment to 9 GW by 2035.
To quantify the economics of what this momentum means, SIOW is preparing a white paper with break-out analysis of the projected $65 billion in supply chain capital expenditures required to meet state commitments for more than 15 GW in OSW capacity. In addition, Sopko said she looks forward to the opportunity in her new post to "deepen relations between AWEA and SIOW, which will in turn strengthen outreach and advocacy for U.S. offshore wind power in general."
"Nancy has been a tireless advocate for offshore wind, seeing the industry through an exciting period of growth," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. "Under her watch, AWEA's offshore program has also expanded to serve the growing advocacy needs at the state, regional and federal level. While we will miss having her on the team, we look forward to a strengthened partnership with SIOW to serve the needs of this fast-growing industry."
"Offshore wind has enormous potential to generate gigawatts of clean, utility-scale power for households and businesses on the Eastern Seaboard," said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind. "Nancy is joining SIOW at a pivotal point as U.S. offshore wind prepares to deliver on its promise. We look forward to SIOW expanding its outreach with key constituencies and catalyzing efforts of sector and supply chain stakeholders to build a booming U.S. OSW industry."
The Department of Energy (DOE) reports the project pipeline for U.S. OSW totals more than 25 GW of potential installed capacity off the East and West coasts, Great Lakes and Hawaii. By 2050, DOE projects 86 GW of OSW will support 160,000 full-time U.S. jobs.
About SIOW – The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) is affiliated with the University of Delaware's (UD) College of Earth, Ocean & Environment (CEOE) and supports offshore wind (OSW) power as part of a comprehensive U.S. energy solution, offering expertise, analysis, information-sharing and strategic partnership to build understanding and drive deployment. UD has a long record advancing OSW power through the CEOE, College of Engineering, Center for Composite Materials and more. Please visit http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/siow and http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/research/affiliated-programs/wind-power-program.