Poised to Lead Nation’s First Federally Funded Public-Private Partnership Focused on Advancing Offshore Wind Technology in the United States

August 15, 2019

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (Consortium) today announced that Carrie Cullen Hitt was named its first Executive Director. Additionally, General Electric Renewable Energy (GE) has joined the Board of Directors as a Private Sponsor member.Today’s announcement further solidifies the Consortium’s position as a key national resource for offshore wind development and technology funding, helping to combat the global effects of climate change by accelerating the growth and enhancing the viability of the U.S. offshore wind industry.

Robert Catell, Consortium Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) said, “The Consortium is very fortunate to have Carrie Cullen Hitt accept the position as Executive Director. This leadership position will benefit from her extensive experience, background, and passion for renewable energy and, in particular, offshore wind. The Consortium Board of Directors is looking forward to working with her. The Consortium welcomes General Electric as its newest member. They bring a tremendous wealth of experience in the offshore wind field and further reinforce the Consortium's role as the "go to" place in the U.S. offshore wind industry.”

Carrie Cullen Hitt, Executive Director, National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium said, “I am excited to work with Consortium members and the broader community to realize the potential of offshore wind. The Consortium is a great platform from which we can build knowledge of an industry for everyone’s benefit.”

Prior to the Consortium, Carrie Cullen Hitt served as President of New Hampshire Transmission and Senior Director for NextEra Energy Resources, where she managed transmission assets in New York with gross revenue of $15 million per year and oversaw the development of new business, partnerships, and building relationships with policymakers and leaders in the United States. Prior to joining NextEra Energy Resources, Carrie was the Senior Vice President of Solar Energy Industries Association where she was responsible for all state regulatory, legislative and policy measures with issues covering net metering, renewable portfolio standards, and incentive and tax policies. Before Solar Energy, she was the President for Solar Alliance and also served as Vice President of Sustainability and Renewables, as well as Vice President of National Government and Regulatory Affairs, for Constellation Energy from 2004 to 2008. Carrie holds a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and a Master of Arts from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Her start date is September 3, 2019.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said, “We look forward to working with Carrie in her new role as Executive Director and are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for the development of the national offshore wind market as the Consortium continues to expand its leadership team, including the Board of Directors. The Consortium will continue to play an increasingly pivotal role in advancing new technology and public-private partnerships as New York seeks to become the hub of this nascent industry and achieve Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.”

As a member of the Board of Directors, GE will bring its unique perspective as a global wind turbine manufacturer and deep offshore wind technology development expertise to help inform the Consortium’s strategy to accelerate the growth of offshore wind in the U.S. GE will work with other Consortium members and development partners to help reduce costs and drive technological innovations to scale the growing offshore wind industry, and fully address the diverse needs of all U.S. offshore wind regions. As one of the leaders in offshore wind turbine manufacturing, GE is already investing $400 million in development and deployment of the Haliade-X, the industry’s first 12 megawatt offshore wind turbine.

Derek Stilwell, Commercial Leader for North America, GE Renewable Energy said, “GE Renewable Energy is delighted to join the U.S. Offshore Wind Consortium in promoting the environmental and economic development benefits offshore wind can bring to our country. Exciting technology developments, like GE’s industry leading Haliade-X 12 MW turbine, will enable our customers to deliver these benefits in an affordable manner. The efforts of the Consortium will be key in coordinating industry efforts so that we can deliver as much as possible as quickly as possible.”

GE will be joining fellow Consortium members which include the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME); the Maryland Energy Administration, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; (MassCEC), The Carbon Trust International, Inc.; NYSERDA; Renewables Consulting Group and U.S. national laboratories as well as offshore wind developers Anbaric Development Partners; Avangrid Renewables; EDF Renewables; EDP Renewables; EnBW North America; Equinor; Innogy; Northland Power; Ørsted; Shell; and Vineyard Wind.

The Consortium was founded in June 2018 after NYSERDA was awarded $18.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead a nationwide offshore wind technology research and development consortium. The Consortium is a not-for-profit organization aiming to responsibly advance offshore wind technology and its economic benefits in the United States. The grant from DOE was matched by financial support from NYSERDA for a term of four years.