$4 Million Opportunity to Advance Floating Offshore Wind Power

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At a bilateral meeting today the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) and Innovation Fund Denmark announced an intent to release a $4.2 million opportunity to advance floating offshore wind energy systems toward cost-effective commercialization and wide-scale deployment.

For this opportunity, “mooring technologies” means any equipment to permanently secure a floating full-scale 15+ megawatts (MW) wind turbine structure in position within a deep water (50+ meters) offshore wind energy array including mooring lines, anchors, and all components.  Image courtesy of NREL, Joshua Bauer.

This announcement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding between DOE, the Denmark Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the Denmark Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, and Innovation Fund Denmark signed in 2021.

Floating offshore wind energy will be a key contributor to national and global offshore wind deployment goals and the provision of clean energy to coastal cities. This also supports the goals of the Floating Offshore Wind Energy Shot, an initiative from the U.S. Departments of Energy, Interior, Commerce, and Transportation to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy and enable widespread deployment that can harness untapped renewable energy potential at sea, promote an equitable clean energy transition, and create jobs and economic opportunities.

This proposed funding opportunity supports these goals by focusing on research to improve mooring technologies and methods, which are used to secure floating platforms to the sea floor. This is a joint funding opportunity between the United States and Denmark to advance the global floating offshore wind industry by encouraging bilateral collaboration to increase the impact of research and development in each country.

“About two-thirds of U.S. offshore wind energy potential exists over waters too deep for today’s fixed-bottom wind turbine foundations, and instead require floating platforms. This partnership between DOE and Innovation Fund Denmark will advance floating offshore wind R&D to further each nation’s respective climate goals. This effort supports the Floating Offshore Wind ShotTM, a target to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind in the U.S. 70% by 2035,” said DOE Under Secretary for Science & Innovation Geri Richmond.

“The climate challenge cannot be solved by one good idea or one company—or in one country. It requires many new initiatives and collaborations in different areas that point in the same direction,” said Innovation Fund Denmark Chairperson Anders Eldrup. “There is great potential for floating offshore wind technology to contribute to the green transition. Innovation Fund Denmark is highly dedicated to investing in ambitious and lasting green research and innovation initiatives, and is excited to give Danish and U.S. research and innovation environments the opportunity to collaborate on finding novel solutions.“

WETO and Innovation Fund Denmark are each contributing approximately $2 million. Performing teams must include both U.S. and Danish entities collaborating on each awarded project and should include significant effort from both U.S. and Danish partners. U.S. applicants must include minority-serving institutions and can involve other U.S. participants. Four or more awards are expected.

DOE and Innovation Fund Denmark expect to seek proposals addressing five topic areas.

  1. Compatibility strategies for mooring, cabling, and coexistence: Develop methods to reduce the impact of cables and mooring lines on other ocean users and the environment, and to advance opportunities for positive impacts.
  2. Mass-producible, high-reliability moorings: Enable mass-production of mooring components at the scale needed to supply floating offshore wind arrays of at least 500 MW of installed capacity.
  3. Novel station-keeping systems and components: Research development, demonstration, or commercialization of technology to prevent failures, decrease costs, improve performance, or increase the capacity of floating offshore wind energy mooring systems.
  4. Monitoring and inspection technologies for moorings: Develop sensor systems, remote inspection methods, maintenance strategies, and data collection and processing approaches that can better evaluate the health and reliability of subsea components for commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy arrays.  
  5. Open Topic: Research and development that more broadly support mooring systems for industry-scale deployment of floating offshore wind energy. This includes, but is not limited to, identification of best practices for holistic design and optimization of floating wind energy systems, and how to co-optimize the turbines, platform, moorings, and control systems.

This opportunity is expected to be released this spring.

Courtesy of U.S. DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office.


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