Orsted’s three major US offshore projects risk being delayed due to COVID-19

Pre-COVID-19, Orsted built an early lead into the US market. However, the outbreak has caused its 1.08GW Ocean wind project, 0.9GW Sunrise project and the 0.7GW Revolutiont to run the risk of getting delayed, as well as smaller offshore wind projects Skipjack and South Fork, which are expected to miss their completion deadline of 2022. In the wider US market, more than half of the 50GW of projects tracked by analytics company GlobalData are susceptible to face delays.

With the pandemic in place, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) could not provide a firm timeline by when it could approve the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted for the Ocean wind and Revolution Wind projects. Furthermore, offshore site survey work for New York’s Sunrise Wind project has been delayed by the COVID-19 lockdown, which is likely to delay the COP application.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The delays experienced so far are less likely to have a significant impact on the deadlines, but if these projects further remain stuck in the permitting phase then they might exceed their dates of completion. Most of the large projects are expected to be completed by 2023. GlobalData estimates that around 1.2GW is to be installed in 2023 and another 1.3GW in 2024. Any unforeseen further delays in permits could lead to cost overruns and developers may find projects are delayed further.

“Delays to timely project approvals at the federal level has been a scenario experienced by developers in the past. A good example would be the permitting delay of the Vineyard Wind’s 800-megawatt project on which BOEM plans to provide a final decision by the end of this year.”

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