Pioneering offshore wind power

June 2014 » Project + Technology Portfolio » Energy
Three demonstration projects selected to advance deployment of utility-scale turbines in U.S. waters.
U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Energy Department selected three pioneering offshore wind demonstrations to receive as much as $47 million each during the next four years to deploy innovative, grid-connected systems in federal and state waters. According to the Energy Department, the projects — located off the coasts of New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia — will help further lower costs, drive greater performance, and clear hurdles to installing more utility-scale turbines in U.S. waters.  

In December 2012, the Energy Department announced seven offshore wind demonstration projects, which have focused on design, engineering, and permitting work. The following three projects recently selected are aimed at deploying offshore wind installations in U.S. waters by 2017:

  • Fishermen’s Energy will install five, 5-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines approximately three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J. This project will utilize a U.S.-developed twisted jacket foundation that is simpler and less expensive to manufacture and install than traditional offshore wind foundations. Fishermen’s project will act as a laboratory for researchers to learn about offshore wind and investigate interactions between turbines.
  • Principle Power will install five, 6-MW direct-drive wind turbines approximately 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Ore. The U.S.-developed WindFloat semi-submersible floating foundation will be installed in water more than 1,000 feet deep, demonstrating an innovative solution for deep water wind turbine projects and lowering costs by simplifying installation and eliminating the need for highly specialized ships. More than 60 percent of U.S. offshore wind resources are found in deep waters, including the entirety of the West Coast. Deploying offshore wind technologies for deeper water can help capture resources that are found in waters too deep for traditional bottom-mounted foundations.
  • Dominion Virginia Power will install two, 6-MW direct-drive wind turbines 26 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, utilizing a U.S.-designed twisted jacket foundation. Dominion’s project will demonstrate installation, operation, and maintenance methods for wind turbines located far from shore. Additionally, the Dominion project will install and test a hurricane-resilient design to ensure that offshore wind facilities placed in hurricane-prone U.S. waters are reliable, safe, and cost-effective.

Proposals from the University of Maine and from the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation offered additional innovative approaches that, with additional engineering and design, will further enhance the properties of American offshore wind technology options. This includes concrete semi-submersible foundations as well as monopile foundations designed to reduce ice loading. The Energy Department said it will continue to work with these teams to advance their designs to deployment readiness. 

Learn more at the Wind Program’s Offshore Wind website at http://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/offshore-wind-research-and-development

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (http://www.energy.gov)


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