Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of 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 consortium is a cooperative innovation hub that will bring together industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to advance offshore wind plant technologies, develop innovative methods for wind resource and site characterization, and develop advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance, and supply chain. The overall goal of the consortium created by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S.
“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” said 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.”
With only one commercial offshore wind plant operating in the United States, further research is needed to address U.S.-specific conditions. This research will focus on conditions such as 1) deep water, where floating foundations are required, 2) areas where the seabed conditions are not well understood, 3) the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast, and 4) challenging environments for installation and operations at sea. All of these challenges will benefit from industry-wide collaboration to reduce costs and maximize U.S. economic benefits.
NYSERDA will administer and coordinate the collaborative R&D activities of the consortium, which will include offshore wind industry members that will use the research findings to further advance technologies that can reduce the cost of offshore wind in the U.S. market. DOE is also providing an additional $2 million to DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.