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Offshore Wind Journal

Research consortium to spend US$7M on offshore wind technology

Mon 01 Apr 2019 by David Foxwell

Research consortium to spend US$7M on offshore wind technology
Alicia Barton: “announcement reaffirms consortium’s commitment to reduce costs and address development barriers”

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium has announced up to US$7M in funding for its first comprehensive solicitation for offshore wind technology projects as called for in the consortium’s research and development roadmap.

The announcement marks an important step advancing a long-term strategy to identify innovative technology to further drive down costs of offshore wind development in the US, making it even more competitive with other generation resources.

Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center chairman and chairman of the board of the consortium, said “This initial solicitation is an important step in moving ahead with the technical improvements necessary to reduce the long-term cost of offshore wind and ensure it will be an important component of meeting our long-term energy goals. It is very encouraging that we have been able to move so quickly.”

Under the solicitation, the consortium seeks proposals that foster significant reductions in the lifetime average cost of offshore wind energy while overcoming domestic market challenges in offshore wind technology. Each proposal must address one of the following technical challenge areas: wind turbine array performance and control optimisation; cost-reducing support structures; floating structure mooring concepts for shallow and deep water; power system design and innovation.

Created in response to industry-led feedback, the consortium’s roadmap identifies three core research and development ‘pillars’ that will be addressed through solicitations and awarded projects over the next four years. Additional challenge areas will be addressed in future solicitations and regularly revised.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) president and chief executive Alicia Barton said, “Private-public partnerships and state-to-state collaborations are critical to achieving New York’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda. 

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are actively planning for our clean energy future in a way that supports the successful development of the burgeoning national offshore wind industry. Today’s announcement reaffirms the consortium’s commitment to reduce costs, address development barriers, and move forward collectively to advance responsible development of offshore wind in the northeast and US as a whole.”

In June 2018, NYSERDA was awarded US$18.5M from the US Department of Energy to lead a nationwide offshore wind technology research and development consortium. As the first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore wind technology in the US, the consortium, as a not-for-profit organisation, aims to develop cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind and to maximise economic benefits in the US. The grant was matched by financial support from NYSERDA for four years. NYSERDA is administering this initial solicitation on behalf of the consortium.

The consortium is led by a board that includes offshore wind industry leaders from around the world, states, US representatives of national utilities and national laboratories. Members include industry leaders Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at New York State University at Stony Brook; The Carbon Trust International; National Grid; NYSERDA; Renewables Consulting Group and US national laboratories as well as offshore wind developers Avangrid Renewables; EDF Renewable Energy; EDP Renewables; Equinor; innogy; Northland Power; Ørsted; and Shell.  Earlier this year, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, offshore wind developers EnBW North America and Vineyard Wind, and large-scale clean energy transmission developer Anbaric Development Partners joined the Consortium. 

“The offshore wind industry is rapidly mobilising for construction of the first commercial-scale projects in the United States,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Program Director Nils Bolgen. “Strategically focused R&D will be critical to the advancement of this new American industry, and this solicitation provides important resources that will help connect our research and testing community with industry players, driving innovation that will reduce costs and broaden markets.”

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