The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (Consortium) has announced up to $7 million in funding for its first comprehensive solicitation for offshore wind technology projects as called for in the Consortium’s R&D Roadmap.
The announcement marks an important step in advancing the long-term strategy for identifying innovative technology to further drive down costs of offshore wind development in the United States, making it even more competitive with other generation resources.
“This initial solicitation is an important step in moving ahead with the technical improvements that are going to be necessary to reduce the long-term cost of offshore wind and ensure it will be an important component of meeting our long term energy goals,” said Robert Catell, Consortium Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center (AERTC). “It is very encouraging that we have been able to move so quickly.”
Under the solicitation, the Consortium seeks proposals that foster significant reductions in the lifetime average cost of offshore wind energy while overcoming domestic market challenges in offshore wind technology. Each proposal is required to address one of the following technical challenge areas identified by the Consortium:
- Wind-turbine array performance & control optimization
- Cost-reducing turbine support structures for the U.S. market
- Floating structure mooring concepts for shallow and deep waters
- Power system design & innovation
The Consortium’s Roadmap identifies three core research and development “pillars” that will be addressed through solicitations and awarded projects over the next four years. Additional challenge areas, consistent with the Roadmap, will be addressed in future solicitations and regularly revised to incorporate fast-moving market dynamics, up-to-date stakeholder feedback and new research priorities and objectives, including priorities in offshore wind power resource and physical site characterization and installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain.
“Private-public partnerships and state-to-state collaborations are critical to achieving New York’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are actively planning for our clean energy future in a way that supports the successful development of the burgeoning national offshore wind industry. Today’s announcement reaffirms the Consortium’s commitment to reduce costs, address development barriers, and move forward collectively to advance responsible development of offshore wind in the Northeast and United States as a whole.”
In June 2018, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority was awarded $18.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead a nationwide offshore wind technology R&D consortium. As the first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore wind technology in the United States, the Consortium, as a not-for-profit organization, aims to develop cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind and to maximize economic benefits in the United States.
The grant from DOE was matched by financial support from NYSERDA for a term of four years. NYSERDA is administering this initial solicitation on behalf of the Consortium. The Consortium is led by a Board of Directors that includes offshore wind industry leaders from around the world, states, U.S. representatives of national utilities and national laboratories.
“The offshore wind industry is rapidly mobilizing for construction of the first commercial-scale projects in the United States,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Program Director Nils Bolgen. “Strategically focused R&D will be critical to the advancement of this new American industry, and this solicitation provides important resources that will help connect our research and testing community with industry players, driving innovation that will reduce costs and broaden markets.”