7 Projects That Could Put the US Ahead in Floating Offshore Wind
From GreenTechMedia, September 24, 2019 (excerpt)
The U.S. is late to the offshore wind party compared to Europe and China. And the injection of new regulatory uncertainty in the shape of permitting delays at Vineyard Wind's 800-megawatt project won't help firm up supply-chain investment.
Many of the largest U.S. offshore wind projects are backed by European developers, and most of the largest pieces of equipment will be imported from Europe for the foreseeable future….
Floating offshore wind remains a largely precommercial endeavor because it hasn't yet been needed in the shallow waters off China and Western Europe. In the U.S., however, floating technology is pretty much the only option for the whole of the Pacific.
…Market intelligence group Quest Floating Wind Energy believes almost 2.4 gigawatts of floating wind could be installed off U.S. shores over the next decade.
The floating market is in its very earliest days. But here are ... projects to keep an eye on….
As with California, developers couldn’t wait for a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease auction to express an interest in floating offshore wind projects off Hawaii. Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind submitted its first unsolicited application in 2015.
The company hopes to install between 40 and 50 turbines on WindFloat platforms, for a total capacity of around 400 megawatts, potentially by 2025.
Alpha Wind Energy subsidiary AW Hawaii Wind got its unsolicited application for Hawaiian offshore wind in even before Progression, although Quest Floating Wind Energy expects its 400-megawatt Oahu North project to go live a little later than Progression’s, in 2026.
Like the Progression project, Oahu North is set to use WindFloat foundations for its 42 turbines.
AW Hawaii Wind is hoping to follow its Oahu North project with a similar-sized plant to the south of the island in 2028, although in its application the company noted that the area could be subject to military restrictions.
Truth be told, the likelihood of all of these projects remains speculative, and the timeframes even more so given BOEM’s decision to review the entire permitting process.
For all the West Coast’s potential, “not a single project has been awarded as yet in the U.S. Pacific,” noted Erik Rijkers, market development and strategy director at Quest Floating Wind Energy.
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