The Atlantic region — from Maine to Florida — has the technical potential to produce almost 4,600 TWh of electricity each year, more than four times as much power as those states used in 2019, and almost twice as much as they would use in 2050 if the country underwent maximal electrification, based on estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Atlantic region, especially the Northeast, has strong, consistent wind and a wide, shallow continental shelf, making deployment of offshore wind relatively straightforward using existing technology.
The Pacific region — including Hawaii but excluding Alaska — has the technical potential to produce almost 869 TWh of electricity each year from offshore wind, more than twice as much as it used in 2019, and almost 90 percent of what it is projected to use in 2050, assuming maximum electrification. The Pacific region has a very narrow continental shelf, resulting in much of the wind resource being in deep water and necessitating the use of floating turbines.
The Gulf region — Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — has the technical potential to produce more than 1,400 TWh of electricity each year from offshore wind generation, more than twice the amount of electricity the region used in 2019 and over 20 percent more electricity than the region would use in 2050 assuming the country undergoes maximum possible electrification. The Gulf region’s low wind speeds and many conflicting uses reduce the area available for offshore wind development.
The Great Lakes region — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin — has the technical potential to produce 344 TWh of electricity each year from offshore wind generation, almost half as much as it used in 2019 and about one fifth as much as it is projected to use in 2050 after maximal electrification. The Great Lakes region is limited in usable area and hampered by winter ice floes that could damage floating turbines.