The Department of Energy has selected three Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects in Virginia, New Jersey and Oregon to receive continued funding to develop systems ready for commercial operation by the end of 2017. Each project could receive up to US$47 million in this round of funding.
In 2012, the DOE selected seven projects to receive US$4 million for development. The list has been cut to three: Dominion Virginia Power’s Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Windfarm and Principle Power Windfloat.
The demonstrations will help address key challenges associated with installing full-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes, the DOE said in a statement.
Dominion Virginia Power will install two 6-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines 26 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. VOWTAP will use a domestically-produced twisted jacket foundation and incorporate hurricane-resilient design features.
Fishermen’s Energy of New Jersey will install five 5-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines in state waters about three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Windfarm will demonstrate the use of a twisted jacket foundation that is easier to manufacture and install than traditional foundations, which should reduce the overall cost of offshore wind energy. The project will also include a sea laboratory to study offshore wind, investigate the interactions between turbines, test new control systems and provide information about potential environmental impacts of offshore wind.
Finally, Principle Power Windfloat — the only West Coast project — will install five 6-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines approximately 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon, using a semi-submersible floating foundation. Principle Power’s WindFloat system will be assembled on shore and towed out to sea, reducing the need for costly vessels typically used to assemble and install offshore wind systems at sea.