Wind Offshore When – Maybe soon, maybe manana

This has an interesting storage system however so read the rest of the article.

February 13, 2011 – Vol.15 No.48

by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News

Eventually the United States will get its first offshore wind farm. No one is taking bets as to when it will go online. There have been many proposals, but so far resistance onshore has kept those projects from being built.

Still, wind resources are much better offshore than on and those windy resources are often near heavily populated areas that will be able and willing to consume electricity generated by those reliable ocean breezes.

As with many relatively expensive technologies it’s not such a bad thing to be a late adopter. Early adopters make and have to correct mistakes at a high cost. Early adopters too have only earliest versions of the technology to work with. Late adopters, on the other hand, learn from the mistakes of early adopters and need not repeat them. Late adopters also get to use newer, more sophisticated versions of the technology in question.

Offshore wind is one of those relatively expensive technologies that it’s OK to be a late adopter.

When U.S. offshore wind builders finally get around to planting the first turbine in the ocean bottom (or perhaps floating turbines in deep water over the horizon) they’ll have a better idea of the costs, know exactly how to install them and they’ll have access to far more powerful turbines than those used in the first offshore wind farms in Europe. The U.S. will benefit by being slow to adopt offshore wind, but the time has come to embrace the technology; wind developers know this, so does the U.S. government.

Even as dollars are being pinched in Washington, the Department of Energy has put aside $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy development. The Department of the Interior too, in its Smart for the Start program, has given a hand to offshore wind development by designating four areas along the Mid-Atlantic coast to be on the fast track for regulatory approval.

The funding being offered by DOE can be used for the development of innovative wind turbine design tools and hardware to provide the foundation for a cost-competitive and world-class offshore wind industry in the United States (up to $25 million over 5 years); for baseline studies and targeted environmental research to characterize key industry sectors and factors limiting the deployment of offshore wind ( up to $18 million over 3 years); and for the development and refinement of next-generation designs for wind turbine drivetrains (up to $7.5 million over 3 years).

The Department of the Interior has chosen areas on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Delaware (122 square nautical miles), Maryland (207), New Jersey (417), and Virginia (165) to receive early environmental reviews that will help to lessen the time required for review, leasing and approval of offshore wind turbine facilities.

Government isn’t alone in seeking to develop offshore wind.


More manana.


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