US Government Funds Offshore Wind Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to oversee an offshore wind research and development consortium. The DOE has awarded an $18.5 million to the consortium to advance offshore wind technology in the United States.

The consortium will bring together industry, university and government experts to identify methods to reduce electricity costs for offshore wind projects in the United States. The consortium will develop methods for offshore wind resource and site characterization, and advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance, and supply chain. The consortium will focus on market conditions specific to the U.S., including:

• Deep water, where floating wind turbines are required

• Areas where seabed conditions are poorly understood

• Impact of severe storms and hurricanes on wind turbines

• Challenging environments for installation and operations at sea

Over fifty offshore wind farms are operating in Europe and Asia. The only offshore wind farm in the United States began operating off the coast of Rhode Island in December 2016. In my opinion, the DOE should invest in offshore wind research. The energy potential for offshore wind in the United States is significant and is less expensive than coal-fueled power. In the 1800s and 1900s, the United States successfully developed fossil fuels to support our country’s industrial revolution. In my opinion, now is the time for the United States to develop our country’s significant renewable energy to support a green industrial revolution.

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