Offshore Wind Symposium - University of Houston
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Offshore Wind: Will it Happen in Texas?

Thursday, March 28th
6:00 PM


Additional Video Resources

2019 UH Energy Symposium Trailer: Offshore Wind: Will It Happen In Texas?
UH Energy Channel
Published on Mar 27, 2019
Runtime: 1:25


Offshore wind power offers the possibility of a large energy source located close to the major population centers in the US and eventually contributing 54 GW to the energy portfolio and result in over 50,000 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The advancements in offshore wind energy in Europe and Asia have furthered the deployment of offshore large wind farms and have demonstrated the application of this technology as cost effective and environmentally benign. In the US, the leading generator of wind power worldwide, most of the wind power generation has happened onshore and far from many of the large load-centers.

Specifically, Texas leads the generation of wind power in the US, with much of the generation occurring in west Texas. As the US considers the possibility of building offshore wind power resources, most of the interest has focused on the eastern seaboard, including New England and the Chesapeake Bay areas, and northwest along the Pacific coast as well as the Great Lakes areas. In spite of the long history of the oil and gas industry’s work in the Gulf of Mexico and the unique rights of the state on marine resources up to nine nautical miles, the development of offshore wind power in the state of Texas lags significantly.

Several challenges including the tropical storms and environmental concerns including migratory issues have been attributed, it is unclear if technology, environmental mitigation and a strong economic case can help turn the conditions for the growth of offshore wind power in Texas. The panel will examine best practices and the growth of offshore wind globally to help delineate the opportunities, challenges and path forward for the advancement of offshore wind in Texas.

Symposium Moderator

Cheryl Stahl - Principal, DNV-GL

Cheryl Stahl

Principal, DNV-GL

Symposium Speakers

Jim Bennett - Program Manager, Renewable Energy Program, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Jim Bennett

Program Manager, Renewable Energy Program, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Jim Bennett is program manager for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Renewable Energy Program, where he oversees development of renewable energy resources on the outer continental shelf. The program now manages 15 active leases covering nearly 1.7 million acres. He previously led the bureau’s Division of Environmental Assessment, overseeing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws. He has been involved in projects including the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon oil spills, the Cape Wind energy project and offshore renewable energy activities off the Atlantic coast. Bennett has master’s degrees in environmental planning and computer systems management.
Deniz Ekici - Marine Operations Manager, Equinor

Deniz Ekici

Marine Operations Manager, Equinor

Deniz Ekici is marine operations manager for Equinor and has more than 15 years of experience in engineering and managing large capital projects, including offshore wind development projects in northern Europe and Asia. He has published a number of technical papers on oil and gas, as well as offshore wind, presenting at conferences including the Offshore Technology Conference Houston, the Offshore Technology Conference Asia and the American Wind Energy Association’s offshore WINDPOWER Conference. Ekici is a licensed professional engineer and holds certification from the Project Management Institute.
John Hartnett - Business Opportunity Manager, Shell Wind Energy

John Hartnett

Business Opportunity Manager, Shell Wind Energy

John Hartnett is business opportunity manager for Shell WindEnergy and president of May-flower Wind Energy, a joint venture between Shell and EDP Renewables established to develop projects in the New England region. Mayflower last year acquired a lease of the coast of Massachusetts. A second joint venture with EDF Renewables, Atlantic Shores, holds a lease off the coast of New Jersey and will develop projects for the New York and New Jersey markets, among other states. The two ventures together hold more than 300,000 acres of offshore leases, with the potential to develop more than 4,000 megawatts. Hartnett has been with Shell for 17 years and in the energy industry for more than 30 years.
Michael J. Osborne - Co-founder, Texas Renewables Energy Industries Alliance

Michael J. Osborne

Co-founder, Texas Renewables Energy Industries Alliance

Michael Osborne is a co-founder of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance and has worked on renewable energy and climate change issues since the 1970s. He was involved with Texas’ first wind farm, installed in 1981. An activist and speaker, he is a member of the city of Austin’s Electric Utility Commission and the Joint Sustainability Committee. He served as chairman of Austin’s Generation Resource Planning Task Force, which aims for 65 percent of the city’s electricity to be generated from renewable resources. Osborne previously served on the steering committees of the Texas Energy Policy Partnership, the Sustainability Development Council and the Texas Energy Coordination Council.