Dec 13, 2012 - The US Department of Energy (DoE) yesterday announced funding for seven pioneering offshore wind projects in the US as part of its efforts to set up an offshore wind industry in the country.
Each of the projects, located in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, will initially get up to USD 4 million (EUR 3.1m) to complete the engineering, design and permitting phase. Up to three of the projects will be selected for follow-on phases concentrated on siting, construction and installation and targeting commercial operation by 2017. These projects will each be awarded up to USD 47 million over four years, subject to Congressional appropriations, according to the announcement.
DoE said that the awards would help accelerate the deployment of stronger and more efficient offshore wind power technologies and will demonstrate innovative technologies, helping to reduce costs and improve performance. The projects will also help overcome barriers related to the installation of utility-scale turbines off the US coast, connection to the electricity grid and new siting and permitting processes.
Offshore wind potential in the US is estimated at more than 4,000 GW, four times the US total generation capacity currently. DoE cited a new report it has commissioned as showing that the US offshore wind industry could support up to 200,000 jobs and create annual investments of more than USD 70 billion by 2030.