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Workforce and Innovation Power Louisiana’s Emerging Offshore Wind Sector

Louisiana is poised to be a national leader in harnessing offshore wind potential with waves of advanced manufacturing, research and development and tech innovations.

Geography and Logistics

  • The state’s location on the Gulf of Mexico makes it a natural fit for offshore wind, offering shallow waters with moderate average wave heights.
  • The federal government selected the first two areas for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico in 2022, clearing the way for offshore wind turbines south of Lake Charles.
  • Louisiana has a well-established industrial infrastructure and provides dock space needed to handle incoming goods.
  • The state also has the existing facilities needed to convert steel and composites into finished products, such as blades and foundations, and the prowess for offshore installation.
  • Offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico could eventually generate 10% of all U.S. wind energy.

Offshore wind

Research, Development and Innovation

LM Wind Power

Requiring a massive hanger big enough to test wind turbine blades and ship them globally, the Danish manufacturer made NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans its American base. NASA's skilled workforce of dynamic engineers lends a hand to the General Electric subsidiary, and data collected from these tests are making blades longer, stronger, lighter and more affordable. LM Wind Power has manufactured more than 175,000 blades since 1975.

Gulf Wind Technology

Performing groundbreaking research and development, testing the economic performance of operational wind farms and combining data-driven rotor analysis with cutting-edge composite technology, the company's Avondale Global Gateway site is a skip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, offering strategic waterfront and rail access.

Sector Support

Gulf Island Shipyard and Montco Inc.

Playing essential roles in establishing the Block Island Wind Farm, Gulf Island's pipefitters, welders, sandblasters, scaffold builders and painters fabricated the turbine-supporting jacket while Montco assembled components for a liftboat normally used to support offshore oil and gas platforms.

Edison Chouest Offshore

The Louisiana shipbuilder is assembling the 260-foot-long Eco Edison for Ørsted, a Danish firm that builds and operates wind farms worldwide, and Eversource, a New England energy provider. The ship will serve as floating housing for 60 offshore wind technicians and a warehouse for their tools as they run and maintain wind farms in the Northeast.

Workforce and Higher Education

Located at the University of New Orleans Research and Development Park, the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub offers certification and scholarship programs awarding engineering students who take offshore wind energy-related coursework. Participating students get hands-on training through internships with offshore wind engineering firms and developers. The center also specializes in regulatory guidance, grant development and fundraising support.

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