The U.S. National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium has selected the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to carry out a project focused on reducing costs and improving the economic feasibility of floating wind technology.
NREL has been awarded USD 300,000 for its Shared Mooring Systems for Deep Floating Wind Farms project, in which it will assess the potential of shared mooring lines to reduce floating wind costs by connecting adjacent turbine platforms and distributing load throughout the wind farm.
This way, anchors are only required on the outer turbines, resulting in fewer anchors, fewer mooring lines and lower costs, the consortium said.
“The Consortium is delighted to make its first award to NREL, a federal research institution which is in the forefront of advancing renewable technologies,” said Robert Catell, Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC).
“This $300,000 award will focus on shared mooring systems for floating wind farms to require fewer anchors resulting in lower costs, consistent with reducing the long-term cost of offshore wind as it becomes a greater part of our energy mix. The Consortium looks forward to this being the first of a series of awards consistent with its mission to lower long-term energy costs.”
NREL will design and update its modeling tools to support floating wind farms with shared mooring systems. This feasibility study is expected to help inform the future work of consortium partners and developers when considering best practices for advancing offshore wind.
According to the consortium, the project is a result of its initial comprehensive solicitation for offshore wind technology projects as called for in the Research and Development Roadmap.
Under the solicitation announced in March, the consortium seeks proposals that foster reductions in the lifetime average cost of offshore wind while overcoming domestic market challenges in offshore wind technology.