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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Winter

DOE Announced New Actions to Accelerate U.S. Floating Offshore Wind Deployment.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced new investments to secure U.S. leadership in floating offshore wind development by advancing offshore wind transmission planning, research and technology, and partnerships. These announcements are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Floating Offshore Wind Shot Summit.

DOE is launching a new West Coast Offshore Wind Transmission Study, a 20-month analysis examining how the country can expand transmission to harness power from floating offshore wind for West Coast communities. The study will use its findings to develop practical plans through 2050 to address transmission constraints that currently limit offshore wind development along the nation’s West Coast. It is also expected to evaluate multiple pathways to reaching offshore wind goals while supporting grid reliability, resilience, and ocean co-use.

This study marks the first announcement stemming from $100 million included within the Inflation Reduction Act for transmission planning and complements an analysis released today by DOE that evaluates existing West Coast offshore wind energy transmission research. The analysis identifies deployment gaps that the wind industry must address to successfully develop offshore wind energy off the nation’s West Coast.

New research partnerships and initiatives

  • Expansion of National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC): NOWRDC, a research consortium funded by DOE and others, announced that California is becoming the seventh state, and first state located along the West Coast, to join the Consortium. Pending final approval, California and the Consortium will collaborate to fund R&D projects that directly respond to critical, near-term offshore wind development priorities. California’s addition to the Consortium will bring a new focus on reducing costs of floating offshore wind for ratepayers.

  • Initiation of Offshore Wind Operations and Maintenance Roadmap. DOE and its Sandia National Laboratories and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced the development of an industry-informed roadmap for new operations and maintenance technologies and processes to enhance the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and reliability at offshore wind sites.

  • Lidar Buoy Deployment in Hawaii: DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have deployed a floating scientific research buoy located approximately 15 miles east of Oahu, Hawaii to collect offshore wind resource, meteorological, and oceanographic data.

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