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The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) funds research nationwide to enable the development and deployment offshore wind technologies that can capture wind resources off the coasts of the United States and convert that wind into electricity. This robust portfolio of research, development, and demonstration projects will help the industry overcome key barriers to offshore wind development, including the relatively high cost of energy, the mitigation of environmental impacts, the technical challenges of project installation, and grid interconnection.

Offshore wind resources are abundant, stronger, and blow more consistently than land-based wind resources. Data on the technical resource potential suggest more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) could be accessed in state and federal waters along the coasts of the United States and the Great Lakes. While not all of this resource potential will realistically be developed, the magnitude (approximately two times the combined generating capacity of all U.S. electric power plants) represents a substantial opportunity to generate electricity near coastal high-density population centers. The Energy Department’s two highly instrumented WindSentinel wind resource characterization buoys provide offshore wind profile data that will support research needed to accelerate the utilization of offshore wind energy in the United States.

WETO has been working with the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management since 2011 to advance a national strategy to create and facilitate the development of an offshore wind industry in the United States. As part of that strategy, the Department of Energy has allocated over $200 million for competitively-selected offshore wind research, development, and demonstration projects.

Read more about offshore wind research and development: Technology Development | Market AccelerationDemonstration | R&D Consortium

With greater potential for corrosion from exposure to seawater, offshore wind systems must be designed more robustly (i.e., requiring less maintenance) than land-based wind systems due to the high costs of transporting maintenance crews and replacement components to and from offshore wind plant sites. The Office’s technology development projects are partnerships with industry and national laboratories intended to produce innovative components, controls, and integrated system designs, as well as improved modeling and analysis tools, which will improve the performance and reliability and reduce the costs of offshore wind systems.

More than 58 percent of the U.S. offshore wind resource is located in areas with deep water, where the water is so deep that conventional foundations—large steel piles or lattice structures fixed to the seabed—are not practical. To account for this unique U.S. condition, U.S. companies are developing innovative floating offshore wind platforms for use in deep waters: spar-buoy, tension leg platform, and semi-submersible.

The Office invests in research to understand and mitigate market barriers that limit the deployment of offshore wind in the nation's coastal regions. These barriers include those related to integrating offshore wind energy into existing grid infrastructure, limiting the extent to which offshore wind turbines interact with avian and aquatic life in the offshore environment, and ensuring that the construction of wind power is feasible through the study of our nation's available ports, vessels, and supply chain infrastructure.

Since 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy has supported a portfolio of advanced wind energy technology demonstration projects that represent some of the nation's most innovative offshore wind projects in state and federal waters. These demonstrations are among the first of their kind making their way through permitting, approval, and grid interconnection processes in the United States. The demonstrations will help address key challenges associated with installing full-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium

The Office is supporting a $41 million national offshore wind R&D consortium to facilitate the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry through wind plant technology advancement; wind resource and physical site characterization; and installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions. In 2018, DOE competitively selected the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as administrator of the consortium.

America's First Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore Wind News

DOE Announces Additional Funding for High-Efficiency Lightweight Generator Demonstration
GE to receive $20.3 million to build and test a prototype of their high-efficiency ultra-light low temperature SCG on a wind turbine.
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Energy Department and Federal Partners Announce up to $14.5 Million for Offshore Wind Environmental Research
Environmental research supports increasing understanding of offshore wind and evaluating impacts on wildlife in U.S. Atlantic waters.
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Happy New Year!
As we usher in 2021, we’d like to share some of 2020's top wind energy R&D achievements.
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Multi-Year Program Plan for Wind Energy Research Released
The plan outlines the Office’s research priorities and plans through the year 2025.
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Energy Department Announces New Projects for Offshore Wind Energy Technology Demonstration and Resource Characterization
Innovative projects support improving the ability to forecast wind power; demonstrating energy production technologies to reduce cost of offshore wind
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EERE Announces FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I Funding Opport...
Eligible small business can apply to receive up to $200,000 to test their innovative ideas over 12 months.
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U.S. Departments of the Interior and Energy Launch New Collaboration for Improved Safety and Environmental Stewardship in Offshore Energy...
DOI Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and DOE have issued a FOA for up to $40 million for the OESI 2.0 to support various improvements.
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Request for Information on Offshore Wind Transmission System Integration Research Needs
This RFI is intended to inform WETO’s strategic planning on research aimed at lowering the cost of integrating offshore wind power into the grid.
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EERE Announces New FY21 Topics for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer
EERE’s FY 2021 topics include a commercialization opportunity for a wind turbine blade design developed by Sandia National Laboratories.
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ExaWind Supercharges Wind Power Plant Simulations on Land and at Sea
Suite of open-source, HPC-powered physics codes allows engineers to do everything but collect their mail inside a virtual wind power plant.
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Offshore Wind Featured Publications

2020 Wind Energy Research and Development Highlights
2020's most notable wind energy research and development accomplishments.
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The Potential Impact of Offshore Wind on a Future Power System in the U.S. Northeast
New report quantifies offshore wind’s impact on a future northeast power system.
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2018 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report
Offshore wind market, technology, and cost trends in the United States and worldwide.
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Offshore Wind Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Energy
DOE has been supporting a broad portfolio of offshore wind research, development, and demonstration projects since 2011.
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Offshore Wind National Facilities RFI Response Synthesis
Summary results for the RFI on National Offshore Wind Energy R&D test facilities.
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Estimating the Value of Offshore Wind Along the United States' Eastern Coast
This study finds that the "market value" of offshore wind generally exceeds that of land-based wind in the U.S. east coast region.
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Offshore Wind Energy Resource Assessment for Alaska
This report quantifies Alaska's unique offshore wind resource capacity.
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National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States
Offshore wind energy holds the promise of significant environmental and economic benefits for the United States.
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Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts in the United States: Four Regional Scenarios

This report uses the offshore wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model and provides four case studies of potential offshore wind...

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