Climate Action

US Government to spend $18.5 million on offshore wind research

The US Department of Energy has announced new funding to explore the viability of building offshore wind farms in the country.

  • 19 June 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

The US Department of Energy has announced new funding to explore the viability of building offshore wind in the country.

New York State has been selected by the department to lead a consortium of experts to look into new areas to develop offshore wind on the East Coast.

$18.5 million will be used to research areas such as deep water turbines, the impact of hurricanes, seabed conditions and how to construct wind farms in challenging environments. This will have the overall aim of reducing offshore wind costs to bring forward more projects.

New York’s energy research body, NYSERDA, will lead the work and provide match funding over the four year project. It will engage the private sector to ensure the research continues after federal funding ends.

There is currently one operational wind farm in the country, a five turbine, 30 megawatt project located off Rhode Island. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced plans in January to expand this capacity to 2,400 megawatts by 2030.

"New York leads the nation in its commitment to renewable energy, and offshore wind is an affordable clean energy source that will power our future," Governor Cuomo said, in response to the new funding.

"This consortium cements our role as the national capital of the offshore wind industry and will drive innovation and development, support job creation and bolster our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner, greener New York for all," he added.

“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” said Timothy Unruh, at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Through this consortium, DOE seeks to support fundamental research to accelerate the development of affordable offshore wind technologies.”

Despite the increased interest in renewable energy, the Department of Energy also revealed $64 million to fund new research into nuclear technologies. US President Donald Trump has been a vocal opponent of wind energy in the past, and actively supports coal power.


Photo: Block Island. The first offshore wind farm in the United States.