The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Delaware (UD) will establish a test site for commercial wind turbines off the Delaware coast.
Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement of $500,000 over the next five years, UD will work with federal and state agencies meet criteria for establishing any potential offshore test sites. Public involvement will be a key part of the process.
Commercial offshore turbines can be tested separately on land. However, before installing full-scale commercial turbines, researchers must study sites that expose them to typical offshore conditions such as salt water, mist, and wind gusts.
NREL and UD will develop test procedures specific to the area’s harsh offshore wind environment and establish methods for predicting wind energy costs in the U.S. Both parties say any test turbines would serve as valuable classrooms to train future wind energy professionals, scientists, and engineers. The studies will provide the information needed to improve the performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of offshore wind power.
University of Delaware udel.edu
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