National Offshore Wind Consortium Releases R&D Road Map

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The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium has released a road map focused on advancing U.S. offshore wind research and development (R&D).

The road map establishes a long-term vision for offshore wind technology development in the U.S. and identifies key priorities for establishing the industry as a leading clean energy sector.

In June, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) was awarded $18.5 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a term of four years to lead the consortium. The DOE award was also matched by NYSERDA.

The consortium will fund R&D initiatives that focus on three pillars:

  • Offshore Wind Plant Technology Advancement: Will include R&D opportunities that focus on addressing near- and mid-term challenges to reducing development costs in the initial phases of U.S. offshore wind projects.
  • Offshore Wind Power Resource and Physical Site Characterization: Aims to reduce the risk of offshore wind in the U.S. through R&D that focuses on activities that lower the cost, time and uncertainty of site characterization for offshore wind developers on the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Installation, Operations and Maintenance, and Supply Chain: Will focus on R&D activities that lower cost and time of project construction, installation, and operations and maintenance.

Focusing on the priorities identified in the road map, the consortium intends to distribute available research funds through a series of open solicitations over the next four years. The first request for proposals is expected to be announced in 2019. After the first round of competitive solicitations, the road map will be regularly revised to incorporate up-to-date stakeholder feedback and new research priorities and objectives that support the evolving offshore wind market.

“We were excited to convene the first official meeting of the consortium board of directors on Oct. 18, at which time we ratified our first R&D road map,” says Robert B. Catell, the consortium’s chairman. He is also chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), a New York State Center of Excellence located at Stony Brook University.

“This was a critical milestone in the development and implementation of the consortium, allowing us now to clearly focus on our key priorities for advancing the offshore wind industry in the U.S.,” adds Catell.

The consortium is headquartered at the AERTC. Public and private partners have been enlisted to support initiatives that will focus on driving further cost reductions for offshore wind development, lowering the deployment risk to investors, and expanding the range of feasible project sites in each of the five U.S. offshore regions.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA, says, “The National Offshore Wind Consortium is a symbol for the rest of the world that the United States is serious about establishing a leadership position in the rapidly growing global offshore wind industry. Led by NYSERDA, DOE and industry partners, I am proud of the consortium’s forward-thinking vision to advance the cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind in the United States and look forward to supporting research and development that unleashes this industry’s potential to bring tremendous benefits to our economy and environment while accelerating our pace to meeting Governor Cuomo’s target of developing 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030.”

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