New York Takes Offshore Wind Lead

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with an USD 18.5 million grant to lead an offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium.

The Block Island Wind Farm, the first US offshore wind farm. Image source: US DOE

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium is a cooperative innovation hub that will bring together industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to advance offshore wind plant technologies, develop innovative methods for wind resource and site characterization, and develop advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance, and supply chain.

The overall goal of the consortium created by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the US.

The grant will be matched by financial support from NYSERDA and is for a term of four years.

“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” said Timothy Unruh, EERE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.

“Through this consortium, DOE seeks to support fundamental research to accelerate the development of affordable offshore wind technologies.”

With only one commercial offshore wind farm operating in the United States, further research is needed to address US-specific conditions, DOE said.

This research will focus on conditions such as deep water where floating foundations are required, areas where the seabed conditions are not well understood, the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast, and challenging environments for installation and operations at sea.

DOE is also providing an additional USD 2 million to DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.

NYSERDA teamed with Carbon Trust and the Renewables Consulting Group to establish an industry-led and independent group with a nationwide focus. Its board members include offshore wind developers, public sponsors and representatives of national utilities and national laboratories. The consortium includes New Jersey and California and will be reaching out to other states to join.

“New York leads the nation in its commitment to renewable energy, and offshore wind is an affordable clean energy source that will power our future,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“This consortium cements our role as the national capital of the offshore wind industry and will drive innovation and development, support job creation and bolster our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”