The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently granted $21 million in funding for three projects supporting offshore wind energy technology demonstration and resource characterization.
These projects will support offshore wind development by demonstrating innovative technologies not previously commercially used in the United States for offshore wind, and by improving the ability to forecast energy production, the DOE said.
"Demonstrating innovative technologies not yet deployed at commercial scale will lower the cost of energy and lend confidence to future investment decisions," said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Improving the ability to accurately forecast wind power with enhanced weather models and demonstrating innovative energy production technologies can help reduce the cost of offshore wind."
Atkins of Houston, Texas, will develop a full-scale design of a floating offshore wind platform capable of supporting a 10+ megawatt turbine, using a scale model testing and simulation methodology previously used for oil and gas floating production facilities. The design is planned for installation and grid connection at one of Mayflower Wind’s lease areas in the Atlantic Ocean.
The University of Maine will design, demonstrate, and validate a synthetic rope mooring for floating offshore wind turbines, which is expected to reduce the impact of offshore wind development on commercial fishing and reduce costs. The mooring system will be demonstrated on a full-scale floating offshore wind turbine as part of the New England Aqua Ventus I project.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of Massachusetts will collect high-quality offshore wind resource data off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, then use the data to improve atmosphere-ocean simulation tools and reduce uncertainty in offshore wind resource assessment and forecasting.
"Each project will leverage cost-shared funding from research partners. By providing funding, technical assistance, and government-led coordination, DOE can increase confidence in pre-commercial technologies and methodologies, helping to lower the cost of energy from offshore wind," DOE said.