The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Delaware (UD) will work to facilitate the potential establishment of a test site for commercial wind turbines off the Delaware coast.
Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement worth $500,000 over the next five years, UD will work with federal and state agencies to identify and meet the criteria for establishing any potential offshore test sites. Public involvement is expected to be a key part of the process.
As part of the planning and development of a potential offshore wind turbine test site, NREL and UD will develop test procedures specific to the area's harsh offshore wind environment, and establish methods for predicting wind energy costs in the U.S. The partners expect that any test turbines would serve as valuable classrooms used to train future wind energy professionals, scientists and engineers.
‘By combining the university's educational expertise with NREL's wind technology expertise, we can train future wind energy professionals to provide a skilled workforce for the offshore wind industry,’ says Walt Musial, senior project lead at NREL's National Wind Technology Center.Â
Should the potential offshore wind turbine test site become a reality, the studies designed by NREL and UD will generate the knowledge and information needed to improve the performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of offshore wind power.Â Those improvements will, in turn, reduce maintenance, help increase offshore wind energy deployment and increase employment for U.S. manufacturing jobs.
SOURCE: National Renewable Energy Laboratory Â Â