The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded USD 21 million in funding for three projects supporting offshore wind energy technology demonstration and resource characterization.
The projects will support offshore wind development by demonstrating innovative technologies not previously commercially used in the U.S. and by improving the ability to forecast energy production, DOE said.
Atkins will develop a full-scale design of a floating offshore wind platform capable of supporting a 10+ MW turbine, using a scale model testing and simulation methodology previously used for oil & gas floating production facilities. It is planned for installation and grid connection at the Mayflower Wind lease area.
The University of Maine will design, demonstrate, and validate a synthetic rope mooring for floating wind turbines, which is expected to reduce the impact of offshore wind development on commercial fishing and reduce costs. It will be demonstrated on a full-scale turbine at the Aqua Ventus I project.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of Massachusetts will collect offshore wind resource data off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and use it to improve atmosphere-ocean simulation tools and reduce uncertainty in offshore wind resource assessment and forecasting.
“Demonstrating innovative technologies not yet deployed at commercial scale will lower the cost of energy and lend confidence to future investment decisions,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
“Improving the ability to accurately forecast wind power with enhanced weather models and demonstrating innovative energy production technologies can help reduce the cost of offshore wind.”