This is an excerpt from the Second Quarter 2012 edition of the Wind Program R&D Newsletter.
More than 150 experts on U.S. and European offshore renewable energy and the oil and gas industry met in Washington, D.C., on April 11 and 12 to exchange information and build relationships in support of U.S. offshore renewable energy development. The Offshore Energy Knowledge Exchange workshop was a collaborative effort between the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The workshop was an outgrowth of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2010 by the two Departments to coordinate more closely on responsible development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the U.S. outer continental shelf.
During the two-day workshop, the maritime and offshore industries and government agencies exchanged "lessons learned" based on international renewable energy and U.S. traditional energy development. Among the issues discussed were infrastructure and cabling, access to necessary vessels, development of procedures for offshore maintenance, and approaches to safe operations. Potential technical solutions offered by traditional offshore industries that may be applicable to renewable energy development on the outer continental shelf were also identified, including those relating to electrical infrastructure, foundation designs, installation methods, and more efficient operations models. Workshop sessions also discussed the importance of a safety culture for the offshore renewable energy industry and the development and use of effective engineering standards. The workshop attendees represented a broad cross-section of the offshore energy industry. A summary report about the offshore energy knowledge exchange workshop will be available this summer in the Wind Program's Publication Library.