US DoE to award USD 20.5m for offshore wind R&D

Offshore wind farm. Photo by: Iberdrola (www.iberdrola.com).

December 12 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DoE) is providing USD 20.5 million (EUR 17,4m) in funding for offshore wind research and development, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said Tuesday.

More specifically, a competitive award of USD 18.5 million will support the formation of a consortium to conduct US-specific research aimed at lowering the cost of offshore wind in America. An addition USD 2 million will be made available for research at DOE’s national laboratories in support of R&D activities of the so-called US Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium.

The competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to help select an administrator to lead the consortium and coordinate the collaborative R&D activities. The DOE’s plan is to attract offshore wind industry participants to join the consortium, contribute funds to it and use the research findings to further advance technologies. The topics of focus will include technology advancement, resource and physical site characterisation, installation, operations and maintenance (O&M), 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,” Rick Perry said.

The US is lagging behind Europe and China in the development of offshore wind. It has only one operational wind farm at sea, while a number of large projects are under development. The consortium’s research is intended to help address key challenges faced by offshore wind project developers in the US related to wind turbine installation in deep waters using floating foundations, supply chain and O&M solutions, and the need for good models to predict the impact of Atlantic hurricanes on wind turbines, the DOE said.

An informational webinar is scheduled for December 20. The deadline for applications in the FOA is March 26, 2018.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.85)

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