USA: IAWIND Grants USD 300,000 for Offshore Wind Research
The Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND) has awarded a $300,000 research grant to Eugene S. Takle, professor of agricultural meteorology and director of the climate science program at Iowa State University.
The grant – to be matched by Anemometry Specialists, Alta and Cedar Crest, IA — will be used by Takle, the principal investigator, to develop a balloon-borne buoy-mounted measurement platform for off-shore wind energy resource assessment.
The total cost of energy for an off-shore wind farm could be reduced by up to four percent if a buoy-based system was used for wind resource assessment rather than an off-shore meteorological tower.
A four percent reduction in wind plant cost of energy is significant because wind resource assessment costs are incurred while there is uncertainty in whether the wind plant will even be commissioned and any possible recouping of expenses is years in the future.
Guyed meteorological towers have been used for several decades to assess boundary layer wind speeds at potential wind development sites on land. However, high equipment and installation costs are associated with this approach.
The total equipment and installation cost of the buoy-based instrumentation system will be less than $100,000, which is at least a 90 percent reduction in cost compared to off-shore meteorological towers.
Takle has been engaged in research on wind science and wind energy since 1975, beginning with research funded by the Iowa Energy Council to assess the wind energy potential for Iowa.
Offshore WIND staff, July 31, 2012; Image: Siemens