The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (Consortium), the first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing research and development to accelerate the offshore wind industry in the United States, announced the release of its first Research and Development Roadmap to advance offshore wind technology, drive wind innovation and combat climate change.
The Roadmap provides a long-term vision for offshore wind development in the United States, identifying key priorities for the industry.
“We were excited to convene the first official meeting of the Consortium Board of Directors on October 18, 2018, at which time we ratified our first R&D Roadmap,” said Consortium Chairman of the Board Robert B. Catell, who is also the Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), a NYS Center of Excellence located at Stony Brook University.
“This was a critical milestone in the development and implementation of the Consortium, allowing us now to clearly focus on our key priorities for advancing the offshore wind industry in the U.S.,” Catell added.
In June, in line with New York State’s significant work, research and planning to develop a responsible and cost-effective way to develop a U.S. offshore wind industry, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) was awarded $18.5 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a term of four years to lead the national research and development consortium.
“The Roadmap on offshore wind technology will help to grow the industry and advance our aggressive clean energy goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The Roadmap will serve as a strategic guide to further research and development of offshore wind technology – driving innovation, creating new economic opportunities, and helping to combat climate change.”
The Consortium is growing and expanding upon New York’s work to advance the cost effective and responsible development of offshore wind through collaboration between the offshore wind industry, utilities, research laboratories, and other states. The DOE award, matched by NYSERDA, is being used to establish this independent partnership that is both market-driven and industry-led to develop the cutting-edge technology needed to make offshore wind an even greater economic driver for coastal states and a clean source of renewable power for the nation.
“The National Offshore Wind Consortium is a symbol for the rest of the world that the United States is serious about establishing a leadership position in the rapidly growing global offshore wind industry,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Led by NYSERDA, DOE and industry partners, I am proud of the Consortium’s forward-thinking vision to advance the cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind in the United States and look forward to supporting research and development that unleashes this industry’s potential to bring tremendous benefits to our economy and environment while accelerating our pace to meeting Governor Cuomo’s target of developing 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030.”
The Consortium, headquartered at the AERTC, will prioritize, support and promote research and development activities which target barriers that slow the adoption of offshore wind technologies as well as support U.S-based manufacturing and offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure. Public and private partners were enlisted to support consortium initiatives that will specifically focus on driving further cost reductions for offshore wind development, lowering the deployment risk to investors, and expanding the range of feasible project sites in each of the five U.S. offshore regions. As such, the Consortium will fund research and development initiatives that focus on three pillars:
- Offshore Wind Plant Technology Advancement: Will include research and development opportunities that focus on addressing near-term and mid-term challenges to reducing development costs in the initial phases of U.S. offshore wind projects.
- Offshore Wind Power Resource and Physical Site Characterization: Aims to reduce the risk of offshore wind in the United States through research and development that focus on activities that lower the cost, time, and uncertainty of site characterization for offshore wind developers on the U.S Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
- Installation, Operations and Maintenance, and Supply Chain: Will focus on research and development activities that lower cost and time of U.S. offshore wind project construction, installation, and operation and maintenance costs.
Focusing on the research and development priorities identified in the Roadmap, the Consortium intends to distribute available research funds through a series of open solicitations over the next four years. The first request for proposals under the Roadmap is expected to be announced in 2019. After the first-round of competitive solicitations, the Roadmap will be regularly revised to incorporate up-to-date stakeholder feedback and new research priorities and objectives that support the evolving offshore wind market.
The Consortium’s Board of Directors is structured to include offshore wind industry leaders, states, U.S. representatives of national utilities and national laboratories.