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US Announces $18.5 Mln for Offshore Wind Research

June 15, 2018

© Fokke / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that $18.5 million has been made available for offshore wind research and development (R&D).

The DOE selected the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to administer an $18.5 million cooperative innovation hub that will bring together industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to advance offshore wind plant technologies, develop innovative methods for wind resource and site characterization, and develop advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance and supply chain.

The overall goal of the consortium created by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S.

“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” said Timothy Unruh, EERE’s Assistant Secretary of Renewable Power. “Through this consortium, DOE seeks to support fundamental research to accelerate the development of affordable offshore wind technologies.”

With only one commercial offshore wind plant operating in the U.S. (Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island), further research is needed to address U.S.-specific conditions. This research will focus on conditions such as:

  1. deep water, where floating foundations are required,
  2. areas where the seabed conditions are not well understood,
  3. the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast, and
  4. challenging environments for installation and operations at sea.

DOE said all of these challenges will benefit from industry-wide collaboration to reduce costs and maximize U.S. economic benefits.

NYSERDA will administer and coordinate the collaborative R&D activities of the consortium, which will include offshore wind industry members that will use the research findings to further advance technologies that can reduce the cost of offshore wind in the U.S. market.

DOE is also providing an additional $2 million to DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.

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