The Biden-Harris Administration is launching coordinated actions to develop new floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging clean energy technology that will help power the United States. In tandem with President Joe Biden’s economic and clean energy agenda, these actions will create jobs, lower energy costs for families and strengthen U.S. energy security.
Biden set a goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs and spur private investment along the supply chain.
Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine.
The Administration’s new actions will capture this energy potential to power millions of homes and businesses, grow new manufacturing and maritime industries at home and tackle the climate crisis. Globally, only 0.1 GW of floating offshore wind has been deployed to date, compared with over 50 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind.
White House national climate advisor Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland are joining state officials to announce:
- New Floating Offshore Wind Shot to lower costs by 70%: Through the Energy Earthshot program, the Biden-Harris Administration will create a new “Floating Offshore Wind Shot” to accelerate breakthroughs across engineering, manufacturing and other innovation areas. The Floating Offshore Wind Shot will aim to reduce the costs of floating technologies by more than 70% by 2035, to $45 per megawatt-hour.
- New goal to reach 15 GW by 2035: The administration will advance lease areas in deep waters in order to deploy 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 — building on the president’s existing goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, which will be largely met using fixed-bottom technology.
- Research & development investments: To support these goals, this week the Administration launched a new prize competition for floating offshore wind platform technologies; initiatives funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to develop modeling tools for project design and to analyze port needs; and other funding for research, development and demonstration efforts.
These new goals, initiatives and investments focus on floating technologies and build on the administration’s all-of-government approach to developing offshore wind while advancing environmental justice, protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean “co-use.”
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden secured clean energy tax credits that will further accelerate this new American industry and a domestic supply chain, with support for Made in America wind turbine blades, fixed-bottom and floating platforms, installation vessels and more.
New Floating Offshore Wind Energy Earthshot
Granholm and Haaland announced the Floating Offshore Wind Shot, a new initiative to grow clean energy capacity and drive U.S. leadership in floating offshore wind design, development and manufacturing. The Floating Offshore Wind Shot is an initiative led by the Departments of Energy (DOE), Interior (DOI), Commerce and Transportation. DOE and the National Science Foundation will also collaborate on research and workforce development in support of the Floating Offshore Wind Shot.
Achieving offshore wind cost reductions of more than 70%, to $45 per megawatt-hour by 2035 will require focused research, development and demonstration to catalyze continued cost reductions, with a focus on manufacturing, engineering and continued increases of offshore wind turbine capacity. Agencies will also continue collaborating to develop the domestic supply chain and transmission infrastructure needed to accelerate floating as well as fixed-bottom offshore wind.
The Floating Offshore Wind Shot aims to promote ocean co-use, protect biodiversity and advance environmental justice by ensuring the benefits of offshore wind deployment reach underserved communities, in support of Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.
This new target is part of DOE’s Energy Earthshots initiative to tackle the remaining technical challenges to reaching U.S. climate goals. In addition to harnessing the untapped potential for generating clean electricity, floating offshore wind will also support economy-wide decarbonization, including by using floating offshore wind for the co-generation of clean fuels and energy storage.
New floating offshore wind deployment goal
DOI also announced a new goal to deploy 15 GW of installed floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 — enough clean energy to power over five million American homes. This builds on the Administration’s goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will advance lease areas in deep waters for floating technology, starting with a lease auction off the coast of California by the end of 2022. Achieving this target will spur billions of dollars of economic opportunities.
Bringing floating offshore wind technology to scale will unlock new opportunities for offshore wind power off the coasts of California and Oregon, in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. Tapping into these resources will expand clean American energy supplies and contribute significantly to achieving climate goals set by the president and governors across the country.
States, Tribes, coastal communities and ocean users will continue to play a key role throughout the process to ensure that in meeting U.S. climate goals.
Research & development investments
To support these ambitious new goals on floating offshore wind, DOE announced nearly $50 million — including support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — for research, development and demonstration funding:
- Floating Offshore Wind Readiness Prize: This week, DOE announced a $6.85 million prize competition that challenges competitors to optimize floating platform technologies and work to get them ready for wide-scale domestic manufacturing and commercialization.
- Floating Offshore Wind Array Design Project: DOE announced a $3 million project funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to develop a set of modeling tools to help industry and researchers design commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm arrays in U.S. waters, including their anchors, mooring lines and subsea power cables.
- West Coast Ports Analysis: DOE announced a nearly $1 million project funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reduce key infrastructure challenges by outlining a network of West Coast ports and upgrades needed to deploy commercial-scale floating offshore wind.
- West Coast Transmission Analysis: DOE announced an analysis to review existing transmission studies and identify research gaps related to offshore wind integration in California, Oregon and Washington. This work will inform future analysis efforts that will aid in transmission planning and buildout.
- Atlantis II: DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) intends to announce $31 million in funding through phase two of its Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program. The ATLANTIS program focuses on novel forms of systems engineering for floating offshore wind systems to drive down costs. This second phase of the ATLANTIS program will focus on experimental testing in ocean, lake and tank and tunnel environments to further develop new technology for floating offshore wind turbines.
- Environmental Research Award: DOE and BOEM announced a $1.6 million project to support the coexistence of floating offshore wind with bats on the West Coast of the United States.
- Ocean Co-Use and Transmission Research Awards: The National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium, a partnership established with funding from DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, announced five projects totaling $3.5 million to facilitate ocean area coexistence with marine mammals and fishing and to support offshore wind transmission for both fixed-bottom and floating technologies.
“Today’s announcement by the Biden administration to develop 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035 and set targets for further innovation is a game changer,” said Heather Zichal, CEO of ACP. “These bold actions will create the project pipeline necessary to spark investment in a new domestic supply chain and allow the U.S. to lead in this emerging technology. Paired with the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, these targets will dramatically reduce costs for offshore wind development, allowing deployment of clean energy at the scale needed to take action to address climate change.
“California and Oregon have some of the best wind resources in the world, and floating offshore wind is crucial to harnessing these resources due to the depth of the ocean floor along the West Coast,” Zichal continued.” Innovation in floating wind turbines will make offshore wind more efficient, grow a more robust American supply chain, and bring down the cost of energy for consumers. It will enable offshore wind developers to compete alongside other energy sources at a time when we must use every available clean energy resource to decarbonize our grid and enhance energy security and grid reliability.”
News item from The White House
Filed Under: Components, News