The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $18.5 million in funding for a new offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium, tasked with conducting research on how to reduce the cost of U.S. offshore wind.
According to the agency, the consortium will be a cooperative, private-public innovation hub addressing topics such as wind technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, 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,” says Rick Perry, DOE secretary and former Texas governor. “This work will further DOE’s goal to accelerate the development of offshore wind technologies by supporting fundamental research to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy to successfully compete in regional energy markets.”
The DOE says the U.S. is capitalizing on momentum in the nascent offshore wind market with the nation’s first commercial offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm, and additional projects proposed along America’s coastlines. However, according to the agency, the U.S. has several specific challenges that require industry-wide collaboration to reduce costs.
Under this competitive funding opportunity, the agency intends to select an administrator to coordinate the consortium’s R&D. The consortium will include members of the offshore wind industry, who will contribute funds to the consortium and use the research findings to further advance technologies. In addition to the $18.5 million funding, $2 million will be allocated to research at the DOE’s national laboratories to support the work.