Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar have announced more than $50.5 million for projects seeking to develop major offshore wind initiatives for rapid and responsible deployment.
President Obama’s goal of generating 80% of all electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 could be greatly enhanced and accelerated through renewable offshore wind energy.
"Offshore wind energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify our energy supply, and stimulate economic revitalization," says Secretary Chu. "The Department of Energy is committed to working with our federal partners to provide national leadership in accelerating offshore wind energy deployment."
The offshore wind initiatives will be developed by three solicitations provided by Secretary Chu:
- Technology Development (up to $25 million over 5 years): The Department of Energy (DOE) will support the development of innovative wind turbine design tools and hardware to provide the foundation for a cost-competitive and world-class offshore wind industry in the United States. Specific activities will include the development of open-source computational tools, system-optimized offshore wind plant concept studies, and coupled turbine rotor and control systems to optimize next-generation offshore wind systems.
- Removing Market Barriers (up to $18 million over 3 years): DOE will support baseline studies and targeted environmental research to characterize key industry sectors and factors limiting the deployment of offshore wind. Specific activities will include offshore wind market and economic analysis; environmental risk reduction; manufacturing and supply chain development; transmission planning and interconnection strategies; optimized infrastructure and operations; and wind resource characterization.
- Next-Generation Drivetrain (up to $7.5 million over 3 years): DOE will fund the development and refinement of next-generation designs for wind turbine drivetrains, a core technology required for cost-effective offshore wind power.
The DOE is attempting to deploy 10 gigawatts of offshore wind generating capacity by 2020 and 54 by 2030, including both federal and state offshore areas along Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf coasts, Great Lakes, and Hawaiian waters.