Energy Department's new investments pioneering U.S. offshore wind projects

Date
12/18/2012

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Proposed U.S. offshore wind energy projects in advanced development stages by jurisdiction and size of project

Underscoring the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above strategy to develop more secure, domestic energy sources and strengthen American competitiveness in the global market, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced seven offshore wind awards for projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. As part of the Energy Department's broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, these engineering, design and deployment projects will support innovative offshore installations in state and federal waters for commercial operation by 2017. "The United States has tremendous untapped clean energy resources, and it is important for us to develop technologies that will allow us to utilize those resources in ways that are economically viable," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Today's announcement of awards to the first offshore wind projects in the U.S. paves the way to a cleaner, more sustainable and more diverse domestic energy portfolio that develops every source of American energy." Offshore wind represents a large, untapped energy resource for the United States - offering over 4,000 gigawatts of clean, domestic electricity potential, four times the nation's current total generation capacity. According to a report commissioned by the Energy Department, a U.S. offshore wind industry that takes advantage of this abundant domestic resource could support up to 200,000 manufacturing, construction, operation and supply chain jobs across the country and drive more than $70 billion in annual investments by 2030. Offshore wind represents an economic and energy opportunity that could mirror the success of land-based wind development. Last year, land-based wind power represented 32% of all new electric capacity additions in the U.S., accounting for $14 billion in new investment. Nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at those U.S. wind farms - including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears and generators - is now from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35% in 2005. The Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is set to expire at the end of this year, has been a major driver of this tremendous expansion - helping to employ thousands of Americans and launch new businesses across the country. To continue the growth of U.S. wind energy production and component manufacturing, the Administration has called on Congress to extend successful clean energy tax credits like the PTC. The Energy Department investment announced today will help speed the deployment of stronger, more efficient offshore wind power technologies and showcase innovative technologies - helping to further lower costs and drive greater performance. These projects will also help clear hurdles to installing utility-scale turbines in U.S. waters, connecting to the power grid and navigating new siting and permitting processes. The Energy Department will work with each project to test these innovations in real offshore environments and conduct comprehensive instrumentation and data analysis that will help accelerate future U.S. offshore wind deployment. The seven projects selected for the first phase of this six-year initiative include: Baryonyx Corporation, based in Austin, Texas, plans to install three 6-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines in state waters near Port Isabel, Texas. The project will demonstrate an advanced jacket foundation design and integrate lessons learned from the oil and gas sector on hurricane-resistant facility design, installation procedures, and personnel safety. Fishermen's Atlantic City Windfarm plans to install up to six direct-drive turbines in state waters three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The project will result in an advanced bottom-mounted foundation design and innovative installation procedures to mitigate potential environmental impacts. The company expects this project to achieve commercial operation by 2015. Lake Erie Development Corporation, a regional public-private partnership based in Cleveland, Ohio, plans to install nine 3-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines on "ice breaker" monopile foundations designed to reduce ice loading. The project will be installed on Lake Erie, seven miles off the coast of Cleveland. Seattle, Washington-based Principle Power plans to install five semi-submersible floating foundations outfitted with 6-megawatt direct-drive offshore wind turbines. The project will be sited in deep water 10 to 15 miles from Coos Bay, Oregon. Principle Power's semi-submersible foundations will be assembled near the project site in Oregon, helping to reduce installation costs. Statoil North America of Stamford, Connecticut plans to deploy four 3-megawatt wind turbines on floating spar buoy structures in the Gulf of Maine off Boothbay Harbor at a water depth of approximately 460 feet. These spar buoys will be assembled in harbor to reduce installation costs and then towed to the installation site to access the Gulf of Maine's extensive deep water offshore wind resources. The University of Maine, based in Orono, plans to install a pilot floating offshore wind farm with two 6-megawatt direct-drive turbines on concrete semi-submersible foundations near Monhegan Island. These concrete foundations could result in improvements in commercial-scale production and provide offshore wind projects with a cost-effective alternative to traditional steel foundations. Dominion Virginia Power of Richmond plans to design, develop, and install two 6-megawatt direct-drive turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach on innovative "twisted jacket" foundations that offer the strength of traditional jacket or space-frame structures but use substantially less steel. Energy Department report Energy Department: Wind

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