Blue Wind Collaborative, a program of Washington Maritime Blue, today announces its 13-member Blue Wind Leadership Committee. The announcement comes just one month after the official founding of the program. The volunteer members include port, maritime, industry, NGO, and skilled trade leaders. 

The Leadership Committee is tasked with supporting the Blue Wind staff in leading the strategic development of Washington’s offshore wind supply chain strategy and building a detailed plan through a collaborative, equitable, and inclusive approach.

The committee will guide the collaborative’s priorities and working groups in coordination with tribal, fishing, and coastal communities. The working groups will explore the requirements and actions required to enhance shipbuilding, maritime operations, technology research and development, wind turbine and components manufacturing, and materials transportation to serve future offshore wind energy development off the Oregon and California coasts.

“We’re thrilled to convene this Leadership Committee representing the critical perspectives our region requires to accelerate the development of the West Coast floating offshore wind farm ecosystem,” said Cassidy Fisher, Washington Maritime Blue Joint Innovation Program Director. “Together with our valued partners, this work will lay the foundation to ensure we’re growing and supporting our region’s clean energy, technology and skilled manufacturing sectors and building opportunities that will bring economic benefit to disadvantaged communities and all Washingtonians for decades to come.”

Offshore wind is projected to grow into a $70 billion industry in the US in the next decade, fueled by an expected $109 billion in private supply chain investments by 2030 according to a Special Initiative on Wind Power report. More than 65% of projected US wind energy is anticipated to be generated from floating offshore wind.

Initial organizations represented on the Blue Wind Leadership Committee include the State Labor Council, State Building Trades and PS Metal Trades, Inlandboatman’s Union, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Climate Solutions, Washington State Department of Commerce, BlueGreen Alliance, Oceantic Network, Washington Public Ports Association, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Renewable Northwest, and Maritime Blue with research advisors from the University of Washington.

“Washington’s union movement is committed to advancing clean energy solutions while protecting and creating good jobs,” said April Sims, Blue Wind Leadership Committee member and President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Blue Wind’s collaborative and community-benefits approach to offshore clean energy supply chain production will protect our climate while preserving existingmaritime jobs and expanding equitable livable-wage job opportunities.”

Blue Wind collaborative is co-hosting the Northwest Offshore Wind Supply Chain Summit this Thursday, November 16th in Vancouver, Washington in partnership with Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET) to explore supply chain issues and opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. 

“The Oceantic Network has been at the center of supply chain engagement and development in the U.S. for more than a decade. We’ve worked tirelessly to bring together global developers, policymakers, academia, and leading experts to grow this new and vital offshore wind industry, which provides a

practical solution to climate change and creates well-paying jobs. We are excited to partner with Maritime Blue and committed to the collaboration and collective action required to ensure Washington State’s success in the offshore wind industry. Our work together will ensure the state can take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to cement the Pacific Coast region as the supply chain leader for critical floating offshore wind technology and infrastructure,“ said Blue Wind Leadership Committee member John Begala from Oceantic Network (formerly Business Network for Offshore Wind).

The Leadership Committee will host its inaugural meeting before the end of the year. The non-profit Maritime Blue and the Blue Wind collaborative receive operational and project funding through public, private, and philanthropic grant dollars.