Saturday, March 18, 2006

DOE, General Electric To Develop U.S. Offshore Wind Turbine

DOE, General Electric To Develop U.S. Offshore Wind Turbine
March 17, 2006
Source: Clean Edge News

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has signed a $27 million contract with the General Electric Company (GE) to develop a new offshore wind power system over the next several years.

DOE will share about $8 million of the project’s cost, according to a March 9 DOE press release. The DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado will oversee the effort.

“Wind is one of our most important renewable energy resources and this work will allow us to use our resources more extensively and effectively,” said Douglas Faulkner, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The project’s goal is to design, fabricate and test a multimegawatt- scale wind turbine that could produce clean, renewable electricity at a much-reduced cost. The wind turbine will be located offshore and is expected to produce electricity at a cost of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The NREL and GE-developed advanced wind system will include innovative foundations, construction techniques, rotor designs and electrical components designed for use in the ocean’s harsh environment.

There are now no offshore wind farms in the United States, but several projects are in the permitting process.

Preliminary studies indicate that with sufficient research and development support, offshore wind farms could be commercially competitive with existing energy sources and the U.S. offshore wind electric-generating capacity could grow significantly over the next two decades.