Windmolenpark, a Danish offshore wind turbine farm
In a press release last week Senator Sherrod Brown announced that three northeastern Ohio groups will share $1,540,000 of federal resources to research and develop advanced offshore wind turbine systems. The U S Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program will promote technological innovations, reduced costs and improved efficiency in creating new offshore wind energy systems.
Brown, a longtime advocate of offshore wind energy, said, “Ohio is at the forefront of clean-energy technology development, and we can make Northeast Ohio a hub for offshore-wind research and manufacturing. Offshore wind has the potential to bring thousands of good-paying jobs to our state and a clean, renewable source of energy to northeast Ohio homes and businesses.”
Here’s a breakdown of the funding:
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland $540,000 This project will evaluate potential impacts of offshore wind on the electric grid in the Great lakes region and determine requirements on interconnection points, control systems and the application of system reinforcements for different transmission system characteristics.
Freshwater Wind LLC Cleveland $500,000 This project will develop a computational model to study how existing wind turbine systems could be optimized for shallow water conditions found in the Great Lakes.
Nautica Windpower LLC Olmstead Falls $500,000 This project will develop a conceptual design for a deep-water offshore wind farm using lightweight floating platforms with improved access for maintenance.
Floating platforms? I found a couple of similar projects in Europe.
The world’s first floating offshore wind turbine currently delivers electricity off Norway’s coast.
Research on a Hywind Project by Siemens and Statoil of Norway on floating offshore wind turbine platforms has resulted in the placement of a prototype 12 km off the southeastern coast of the country. It sits in 220 m of water and consists of a steel floater with ballast.
In another joint venture, the WindPlus Project, Vestas of Denmark is working to place a full-scale, semi-submersible prototype of a floating structure off the coast of Portugal.
My Take: I’ve been following the progress of plans for installing a 5-7 offshore wind-turbine farm prototype near downtown Cleveland. I’ll be blogging about the coalition involved in the project’s research and development, the sources of their research, the results of their feasibility study, their current timeline and, most important, the impact on the natural world.