The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy held a workshop last week with more than 150 experts on U.S. and European offshore energy to exchange information and build relationships in support of U.S. offshore renewable energy development.
The workshop is an outgrowth of a memorandum of understanding signed in 2010 by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the DOE to coordinate more closely on responsible development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
During the two-day workshop, the maritime and offshore industries and government agencies exchanged ‘lessons-learned’ based on international renewable energy and U.S. traditional energy development. Among the issues discussed were infrastructure and cabling, access to necessary vessels, development of procedures for offshore maintenance and approaches to safe operations.
Potential technical solutions offered by traditional offshore industries that may be applicable to renewable energy development on the OCS were also identified, including those relating to electrical infrastructure, foundation designs, installation methods and more efficient operations models.
Breakout-session groups also discussed the importance of an offshore safety culture for the renewable energy industry, and the development and use of effective engineering standards. The workshop attendees represented a broad cross-section of the offshore energy industries.
"This knowledge-exchange workshop provided an opportunity to build upon our collaborative relationships between U.S. and international industry partners, traditional and renewable energy developers, and academic and government agencies," explains BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "This type of collaboration is essential as the U.S. offshore industry continues to develop its plans for the construction and operation of clean, renewable energy facilities off the U.S. coast."