Perry pumps millions into offshore wind research

Source: By David Foxwell, Offshore Wind Journal • Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Perry pumps millions into offshore wind research
Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy, comes from one of the largest wind energy states in the US, Texas

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has announced US$18.5M in new Department of Energy funding for research and development that will focus on a US-specific cost reduction in offshore wind energy.

The consortium will be a co-operative private-public ‘innovation hub’ addressing topics including wind technology advancement, resource and physical site characterisation, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions.

“As the former Governor of one of the largest wind producing states, I know the value of wind power in our energy portfolio,” said Secretary Perry. “This work will further DOE’s goal to accelerate the development of offshore wind technologies by supporting fundamental research to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy to successfully compete in regional energy markets.”

The DOE said the US hopes to capitalise on momentum in the nascent offshore wind market in the US, with the nation’s first commercial offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm, and additional projects proposed along America’s coastlines.

However, said the DOE, the US has several specific challenges that require industry-wide collaboration to reduce costs. These include deep water requiring floating foundations, the need for models predicting how Atlantic hurricanes will impact offshore turbines, and supply chain and operations and maintenance solutions to address the challenges of building and maintaining turbines at sea.

The DOE intends to select an administrator to co-ordinate the collaborative R&D activities conducted by the consortium, which will include members of the offshore wind industry, who will contribute funds and use the research findings to further advance technology.

In addition to the US$18.5M funding opportunity, US$2M will also be allocated to research at DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.