Energy Secretary OKs $43 Million to Study Offshore Wind Power

By Penny Starr | September 13, 2011 | 9:35pm EDT

A windfarm off the coast of Ramsgate, England (AP Photo)

( –  The Department of Energy is committing $43 million for research and development as part of what Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced calls “a coordinated federal strategy to put the nation’s wind power to work.”

In a press release last week the department said the money would be “investments” in more than 160 universities, labs and businesses in 20 states. It would also provide developers, manufacturers, academics and researchers “opportunities to explore market growth in offshore wind, technology innovation and modeling for the design of the next generation turbines.”

Award recipients include:

Alliance for Sustainable Energy

This project will improve computer-aided-engineering tools to design and assess a wide range of floating offshore wind platform concepts.

Alliance for Sustainable Energy (Golden, Colo.) $1,200,000

This project will produce an offshore wind farm simulation tool to improve designs by maximizing energy capture and minimizing structural fatigue from wave and wind impacts.

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Penn.) $1,200,000

This project will develop a computer model “Cyber Wind Facility” to generate data over an entire wind turbine farm both on and offshore simulating wind and wave impacts on wind turbine structures.

Regents of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.) $1,200,000

This project will develop a computational framework to simulate wave and wind interactions with offshore wind farm designs.

Alliance for Sustainable Energy (Golden, Colo.) $400,000

This project will develop software to simulate offshore conditions including wind and waves associated with extreme events, such as hurricanes, to help design more robust offshore wind turbines.

Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) $400,000

This project will develop a modeling tool to simulate surface water ice impact on offshore wind turbine designs, especially designs involving innovative substructures.

Texas Engineering Experiment Station (College Station, Texas) $400,000

This project will build on existing computer models to simulate mooring dynamics of offshore wind turbines taking into account a variety of interactions between platform anchors and the seabed.

DNV Renewables (USA) Inc. (Seattle, Wash.) $390,000

This project will provide a computational tool to simulate how an offshore wind turbine platform is structurally impacted by interactions with ice on the surface of the water in regions such as the Arctic or the Great Lakes.

Alliance for Sustainable Energy (Golden, Colo.) $500,000

This project will assess the design of a 500 megawatt wind plant comprised of 10 megawatt wind turbines in the Western Gulf of Mexico to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of deploying offshore wind farms in hurricane-prone regions.

Clear Path Energy (San Francisco, Calif.) $500,000

This project will create a conceptual design for an offshore wind turbine farm that can be deployed in water deeper than 35 meters using innovative foundation technology.

Freshwater Wind I (Cleveland, Ohio) $500,000

This project will develop a computational model to study how existing wind turbine systems could be optimized for shallow water conditions

Full list

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