Principle Power Makes Floating Wind Pitch in Massachusetts

Principle Power is making a case for use of its floating foundation WindFloat off the coast of Massachusetts in locations where water depths at lease areas exceed the 50-metre mark.

The existing outer continental shelf (OCS) leases, held by Deepwater Wind, Vineyard Wind and Ørsted Energy, are in water depths from 30-60m, which are regarded by the industry as best suited for fixed foundations.

However, for depths between 50 and 60m, which appear in roughly one third of the lease areas held by Vineyard Wind and Ørsted, Principle Power is arguing that using small-draft floating foundations is a better solution.

The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for a floating offshore wind farm is sensitive not only to the cost of the foundation, but also the cost of installation and O&M activities, which can be effected by external factors, such as the Jones Act, the company said, thus suggesting small-draft floating foundations, such as its WindFloat, to be used in certain areas of the Massachusetts OCS.

An overview of the WindFloat platform and ongoing research efforts will be presented by Dr. Sam Kanner, Principle Power’s naval architect in the aerodynamics/hydrodynamics and R&D team, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Thursday, 16 November, at 4 p.m. local time.

Massachusetts is the first US state to set out offshore wind capacity targets in its new energy legislation. In August 2016, the state governor Charlie Baker signed into law the new energy legislation which calls for the development of 1,600MW of offshore wind capacity by 2027.

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