Study examines Mid-Atlantic offshore wind development potential

A new study prepared by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) says large-scale development of offshore wind off the Mid-Atlantic will create over 7,000 MW and result in more than 170,000 jobs in the region. The development of offshore wind through the Atlantic Wind Connection will also increase GDP by $19 billion and increase federal, state and local revenues by $4.6 billion, according to the study.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, more than 70,000 direct jobs will be created in the manufacturing sector to meet the demand for wind turbine foundations, hubs, blades and other parts, according to the study. More than 40,000 jobs will be created by businesses that serve the supply chain for wind turbines. An additional 50,000 jobs will be created by the effect of added economic activity in the region. All of IHS's job numbers are measured in job-years referred to as Full-Time-Equivalent-Years, or FTE-Years. One full-time worker working for one year equals one FTE-Year.

The study further found that U.S. manufacturers are poised to play a substantial role in the supply chain. Already two-thirds of the components of U.S. land-based wind farms are manufactured domestically. Regional and local suppliers are likely to see much of this new business, since many turbine components are very large, making transportation expensive and difficult.

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