U.S. offshore wind receives boost from DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy on March 1 unveiled a six-year, $180 million initiative for the development of offshore wind energy. An initial $20 million will be available in 2012 as the first step in supporting up to four innovative offshore wind energy installations across the U.S.

The DOE said these offshore wind projects will accelerate the deployment of wind power technologies that will help diversify our nation’s energy portfolio, promote economic development and launch a new industry here in America.

DOE said offshore wind is an enormous potential resource for the U.S., with an estimated 4,000 GW or more in potential power generation.

To support these new demonstration projects, the Energy Department will make available up to $180 million over six years, subject to congressional appropriations, including an initial commitment of $20 million in fiscal year 2012.  The DOE will focus this latest research and demonstration initiative on highly innovative technologies that will achieve large cost reductions over existing offshore wind technologies.  The demonstrations will help address key challenges associated with installing utility-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes.

In addition to the new funding, the DOE is continuing to work with partners across the federal government to implement a comprehensive offshore wind energy strategy, conduct resource assessments, and streamline siting and permitting.

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