DOE – $43 Million to Jumpstart Offshore Wind Power

The DoE announced a clean energy stimulus package Thursday morning in advance of President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday evening in which he is expected to announce a $300 billion-$400 billion jobs creation program.

The DoE will spend $43 million over the next five years “to advance wind turbines research and development to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems,” according to a news release.

With offshore wind power farms already established and growing in Europe, the US has yet to build one offshore wind farm. Providing financing and support for 41 wind power projects in 20 US states will advance wind turbine design tools and hardware, improve information about U.S. offshore wind resources, and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind by reducing market barriers such as supply chain development, transmission and infrastructure.

The awards should help the US compete in the fast-growing offshore wind energy manufacturing sector, promote economic development and job creation, and support the development of an emerging industry that will provide clean electricity to American families, Secretary Chu stated while announcing the program.

Nineteen offshore wind turbines technology development projects will receive $26.5 million to address technical challenges and provide a foundation for the US offshore wind industry to compete globally.

Twenty-two wind power projects aimed at removing market barriers by researching factors constraining offshore wind deployment along US coasts and the Great Lakes regions will receive $16.5 million.

“The U.S. has an abundant offshore wind resource that remains untapped,” Secretary Chu said. “Through these awards, the Department of Energy is developing the critical technology and knowledge base necessary to responsibly develop this resource, enhance our energy security, and create new clean energy jobs.”