Energy Dept releases U.S. Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium FOA

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry recently announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will allocate $18.5 million in funding (the FOA or funding opportunity announcement) to develop an offshore wind research and development consortium.

Described in the DOE press release as a “cooperative private-public innovation hub,” the consortium will address a variety of offshore wind-related topics, including wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions.

Per the FOA, the DOE is seeking “an administrator to establish and lead a voluntary consortium of members committed to shared public and private investment in collaborative R&D focused on realizing technology improvements for the offshore wind industry in the US.”

“As the former Governor of one of the largest wind-producing states, I know the value of wind power in our energy portfolio,” said Secretary Perry. “This work will further DOE’s goal to accelerate the development of offshore wind technologies by supporting fundamental research to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy to successfully compete in regional energy markets.”

The U.S. is capitalizing on momentum in the nascent offshore wind market, with the nation’s first commercial offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm, and additional projects proposed along America’s coastlines. However, the United States has several specific challenges that require industry-wide collaboration to reduce costs. A new EERE Blog series discusses these challenges, such as deep water requiring floating foundations, the need for models predicting how Atlantic hurricanes will impact offshore turbines, and supply chain and operations and maintenance solutions to address the challenges of building and maintaining turbines at sea.

Under this competitive funding opportunity announcement, DOE intends to select an administrator to coordinate the collaborative R&D activities conducted by the consortium. The consortium will include members of the offshore wind industry, who will contribute funds to the consortium and use the research findings to further advance technologies. In addition to this $18.5 million funding opportunity announcement, $2 million will also be allocated to research at DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.

To learn more about DOE’s work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on wind energy technologies,   visit energy.gov/eere/wind.

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