New Federally Funded Consortium To Advance U.S. Offshore Wind R&D

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to administer an $18.5 million offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium.

The overall goal of the consortium – created by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) – is aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S. The DOE is also providing an additional $2 million to its national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.

The DOE calls the consortium a “cooperative innovation hub” comprising wind industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to advance offshore wind technologies; develop innovative methods for wind resource and site characterization; and develop advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance and supply chain.

“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” states Timothy Unruh, EERE’s deputy assistant secretary for renewable power. “Through this consortium, DOE seeks to support fundamental research to accelerate the development of affordable offshore wind technologies.”

According to the DOE, the consortium’s research will focus on U.S.-specific conditions such as deep water, where floating foundations are required; areas where seabed conditions are not well-understood; the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast; and challenging environments for installation and operations at sea.

The DOE grant, matched by financial support from NYSERDA, is for a term of four years. Building on European models, the consortium is also engaging private-sector support so it can continue its work when federal support ends.

NYSERDA teamed with Carbon Trust and the Renewables Consulting Group to establish the group. The consortium also includes New Jersey and California, and it will be reaching out to other states to join.

“New York leads the nation in its commitment to renewable energy, and offshore wind is an affordable clean energy source that will power our future,” says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y. “This consortium cements our role as the national capital of the offshore wind industry and will drive innovation and development, support job creation, and bolster our efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

Alicia Barton, NYSERDA’s president and CEO, adds, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has taken the lead in developing this renewable energy resource that will deliver economic and environmental benefits beyond New York’s borders. Together with our industry and state partners, this consortium will advance research to lower the costs of offshore wind energy and create a center of U.S. innovation and product development that will help make offshore wind the self-sustaining clean energy industry that we need to fight climate change.”

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