Posts Tagged offshore wind

The Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium

Posted by on Thursday, 1 July, 2010

The Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy are creating a project to install wind turbines along the East Coast. This project primarily focuses on wind energy, and the consortium also plans to establish solar plants and other renewable energy sources such as wave power and ocean thermal.

Offshore wind energy has the potential to supply a great amount of power. According to the State of Massachusetts, 900,000 Megawatts of energy are available for capture offshore, which is equivalent to the total amount of energy that all current power plants in the United States produce. Wind power alone has the capability to remove the dependence on fossil fuel for power plants in the United States.

Wind turbine installations are currently only present on land in the United States, according to the State of Massachusetts. There are large wind turbine installations in the United States right now, some of the well known ones are in Oregon, California, and Texas. An offshore wind turbine installation also provides a way for a smaller state to produce power and sell it to utility users in other states, without the large land area that inland installations often require.

The Department of Energy provided a grant of $20 million to an offshore wind project in Maine. The team, led by researchers at the University of Maine, has already found several promising locations to set up the offshore wind generation systems. This system will include a network of floating wind turbines, which are currently rare worldwide. According to the State of Maine, criteria necessary to set up the floating wind turbines successfully include at least 17 mph average wind speed throughout the year and a depth of at least 60 meters. The turbines do float freely in the water in an area selected for high winds, so it is also important that the state controls the entire body of water and there are no rocks, oil platforms, or other obstacles nearby.