October 24 (Renewables Now) - The US government will allocate USD 28 million (EUR 25.1m) in funding to projects exploring cost reduction options in the wind segment, with a focus on offshore, distributed and onshore utility-scale wind.
The funds will be distributed among 13 projects, the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Tuesday. The largest part of the sum, up to USD 10 million, will go to two offshore wind technology demonstration projects. Lake Erie Energy Development Corp will deploy innovative sensing technologies for tracking bird activity near wind turbines, while the University of Maine will develop a floating substructure design for a 10 MW–12 MW wind turbine and install it at a project off Maine.
Some USD 7 million will be provided for the testing of innovative offshore wind technologies at national-level testing facilities, with the funding to be shared by six projects. Among them is a scheme by the Clemson University of North Charleston, South Carolina, aiming to improve offshore wind turbine nacelle testing, and a project of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre in Boston which seeks to upgrade its testing facility to make possible the structural testing of wind turbine blades with lengths of between 85 metres and 120 metres. The Oregon State University of Corvallis, meanwhile, will conduct tests on the combined effects of wind and waves on floating offshore wind turbines.
Four of the 13 selected projects will get a total of USD 6 million to support rural utilities by developing technologies that integrate wind with other distributed energy resources. They will also work to simplify distributed wind project development through standardised solutions and technical assistance.
Up to USD 5 million in federal money will go to Keystone Tower Systems, whose task will be to demonstrate cost-effective welding technologies for tall wind turbine towers, of 160 metres, the installation of which is currently limited by transportation constraints.
The full list of winners in all categories is available on DOE’s website.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.898)