DOE to fund offshore wind grid interconnection study

Washington, D.C., November 7, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it is providing funding for a team of leading energy organizations to perform a broad study that will assess the most promising sites for high offshore wind production along all of the U.S. coastal regions.

The ABB-led team will investigate important technical and economic questions about the integration of offshore wind energy through a range of transmission technologies.

This DOE study – the “National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study” – will be led by experts from five influential energy, manufacturing, consulting, utility and research organizations: ABB, AWS Truepower, Duke Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh.

This team will determine the expected staging of offshore wind development in each of the coastal regions, develop expected wind generation production profiles, assess the applicability of integration study methods to offshore wind production, assess a variety of offshore wind collection and delivery technologies, and consider regulatory issues that may influence the selection of technologies or the implementation of systems.

Additionally, the study will provide the technical and economic viability data necessary to produce a roadmap to the DOE’s “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030” wind goals for the U.S. This Offshore Wind initiative will help guide the national effort to achieve a 54 GW of deployed offshore wind generating capacity by 2030.

Electric power generated by wind resources has become an increasingly important part of the energy production portfolio of the U.S. The majority of current wind production, however, is land-based in spite of accessible wind resources offshore, as well as technological developments for offshore wind production in recent years.

The DOE Offshore Wind Initiative invests $43 million in 41 projects across 20 states over the next five years to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.

The projects will advance wind turbine design tools and hardware, improve information about U.S. offshore wind resources, and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind by reducing market barriers such as supply chain development, transmission and infrastructure.

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