US offshore wind project pipeline hits 25.5 GW

Offshore wind farm. Photo by: Enersea (www.enersea.nl)

August 24 (Renewables Now) - The US offshore wind industry has accumulated a pipeline of projects totalling 25.46 GW, including 1.3 GW added last year, according to a new report.

The overall project pipeline as of the end of June consists of 3.92 GW of project-specific capacity and 21.54 GW of undeveloped lease area potential capacity, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said in its 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update. The capacity comes from projects in 13 states and also includes the 30-MW Block Island wind farm, which was commissioned in 2016.

Total of 1.91 GW of capacity is expected to be deployed by 2023.

Offshore solicitations have awarded 800 MW in Massachusetts, 400 MW in Rhode Island and 200 MW in Connecticut to Vineyard Wind and Deepwater Wind. Other states having projects in the development pipeline are Maryland, New York and New Jersey.

Overall, most of the projects are still in the planning and site control phase, while four schemes have initiated procurement. Contracts have already been awarded for Deepwater Wind’s 90-MW South Fork wind project off Long Island and its 120-MW Skipjack development off Maryland, as well as for a 248-MW scheme by US Wind off Maryland.

The DOE noted that significant effort is being put in the evaluation of floating substructure configurations due to the challenges related to offshore wind turbine installation in deep waters, which hold around 60% of the US’ offshore wind resources.

On a global level, 2017 saw the commissioning of 3.39 GW of offshore wind farms, bringing the total installed capacity to 16.3 GW. Prices in the segment are going down following competitive auctions and there are even some unsubsidised projects. In terms of technology, turbines are growing in capacity, reaching 10 MW-12 MW, according to the report.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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