Facilitating the Development of Offshore Wind Energy in the United States

Siemens offshore wind energy farm - Middelgrunden
Siemens offshore wind farm - Middelgrunden. Credit: Siemens

The U.S. Energy Department’s Wind Program is seeking feedback from the wind industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders regarding the key challenges currently facing offshore wind energy and the Wind Program’s implementation of the Energy Department’s National Offshore Wind Strategy report released in 2011.

Since the release of the National Offshore Wind Strategy report, the global offshore wind industry has doubled in size from 4 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity to over 8 GW. Offshore wind technology is making progress as well. For example, the average nameplate capacity of installed offshore wind turbines is expected to double from 4 MW in 2011 to 8 MW by the end of 2016, allowing for improved economies of scale. Feedback through this request for information (RFI) will inform the program’s future strategies and priorities for advancing offshore wind technologies and deployments.

The National Offshore Wind Strategy defined two critical objectives aimed at developing a world-class offshore wind industry in American waters that included reducing both the cost of offshore wind energy and the associated timelines for offshore wind energy deployments.  Addressing these critical objectives, the report defined three focus areas and multiple activities within each area.

The Wind Program is currently revisiting these activities in light of the Energy Department’s March 2015 Wind Vision Report, a major forward-looking initiative carried out jointly with the wind industry that quantifies the benefits of a robust wind energy future through 2050. TheWind Vision Report’s Roadmap chapter sets forth nine targeted actions that stakeholders can take to reduce wind energy costs, expand developable areas, and increase the economic value of wind energy for the nation.

Through this RFI, the Wind Program is seeking feedback regarding the following key program activity areas:

  • Technology Development including specific activities to help overcome the technological barriers for offshore wind energy
  • Market Barrier Removal including specific activities that will help reduce the impact of non-technical barriers for offshore wind energy
  • Crosscutting Offshore Wind Energy Solutions including the ongoing Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration projects and specific activities that will improve resource assessment, site characterization, electricity delivery, and grid integration
  • Overall Strategy and Impact to broadly consider the offshore wind portfolio performance and path forward for offshore wind energy in the United States.

This RFI is not intended to inform a funding opportunity announcement but will help the Wind Program meet its goal of advancing offshore wind energy technologies and deployment solutions.

Responses to this request for information are due by June 22, 2015.

Read the full RFI on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange.

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