U.S. Cuts Funding for Offshore Wind Projects in Oregon, Virginia

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The U.S. Energy Department cut funding for two projects designed to test the viability of offshore wind energy, in Virginia and Oregon.

Dominion Resources Inc. is “assessing options” after the government said its proposal to install two 6-megawatt turbines 24 miles (39 kilometers) off Virginia Beach was no longer eligible for as much as $40 million, according to a statement Friday. Principle Power Inc. of Seattle, which is planning to install up to five 6-megawatt floating turbines off Coos Bay, Oregon, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The efforts were among a handful of projects the Department of Energy has supported since 2012 to explore offshore wind power in the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In a statement Friday, the department said it would continue funding three projects, in Lake Erie, New Jersey and Maine, that had demonstrated “significant progress.”

Dominion said the Energy Department cut funding because the company couldn’t guarantee a start date before 2020.

“While Dominion’s Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project and Principle Power’s WindFloat Pacific will be leaving the demonstration program, the lessons learned during the development of both projects over the past several years will benefit the burgeoning offshore wind industry moving forward,” Dawn Selak, a department of energy spokeswoman, said in the e-mailed statement.