On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy pledged as much as $141 million to three offshore wind power programs as part of the government’s push to cultivate innovation in the field. The department will provide up to $47 million over the next four years to each of three projects off the shores of New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia. The projects will put grid-connected systems in place in federal and state waters by 2017, according to a department statement. “Offshore wind offers a large, untapped energy resource for the United States that can create thousands of manufacturing, construction and supply chain jobs across the country and drive billions of dollars in local economic investment,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.
Dominion Virginia Power will install two turbines 26 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, focusing on installation, operation and maintenance methods for turbines located far from shore, and will test a hurricane-resilient design. Fishermen’s Energy will install five 5-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines about three miles off the coast of Atlantic City. Principle Power Inc. will install five turbines with a semi-submersible floating foundation about 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon. The department plans to work on separate proposals from the University of Maine and the Lake Erie Energy Development to help get their designs ready for use, according to the statement. In December 2012, the Energy Department announced seven offshore wind demonstration projects that focused on design, engineering and permitting work, while the projects announced this week target the deployment of installations in U.S. waters, according to the statement.