Saturday, November 05, 2005

MTC, U.S. Department of Energy, and GE Release Framework for Guiding Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States

MTC, U.S. Department of Energy, and GE Release Framework for Guiding Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States

Link to a pdf of the full document (1MB)
or executive summary (73 KB).

WESTBOROUGH, MA (September 30, 2005) ? The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) today joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and GE to unveil A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States, an agenda aimed at tapping abundant offshore winds, especially over deep waters, to increase the nation?s production of clean, sustainable energy. The Framework, developed over the past year, identifies the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory needs required for the responsible development of our nation?s offshore wind energy potential, as well as strategies for addressing them.

The U.S. DOE estimates that more than 900,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity, an amount roughly equivalent to the total current installed U.S. electrical capacity, exists within 50 miles off our coasts. The winds over deep waters off the New England coast are among the strongest anywhere in the United States.

?Tapping into offshore wind energy, a free fuel source that is not impacted by fluctuating prices or volatile fuel import schedules, can offer long-term competitive electricity costs,? said Jim Lyons, GE Chief Research Engineer. ?At the same time, it will provide the U.S. with a means to add additional renewable energy into the Nation?s electricity mix. Further technology development will be key to this effort, particularly in deep waters where conditions are beyond the reach of current technology. The Framework recognizes the need for a cost-effective evolution from today?s near-shore, shallow water sites to the future?s more remote, deeper water facilities.?

The Framework is intended to help the United States develop its offshore wind energy industry through a highly collaborative, multi-sector approach. A major goal of this collaborative effort is to bring government, industry, and universities together to spur innovation in wind energy technologies. The document also recognizes the importance of considering this offshore energy source in the context of emerging national ocean conservation and management priorities.

?The Framework represents the collective input and research of many recognized energy experts and specialists across a wide range of fields,? said MTC Vice President for Sustainable Energy Gregory Watson. ?The winds over deep ocean waters represent a potentially inexhaustible source of clean energy. Addressing the challenges facing the offshore wind industry through the strategies outlined in the Framework will enable us to start harnessing this enormous resource in ways that are both environmentally and economically sustainable.?