The US Department of Energy (US DOE) has agreed to provide $28m in funding for the advancement of offshore wind technology.


Image: US DOE funding to advance offshore wind. Photo: Courtesy of Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash.

US DOE funding will be offered for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS).

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said: “The United States has 13,000 miles of shoreline, which is a huge opportunity to lead the world in capitalizing offshore wind.

“The ATLANTIS projects will help advance American offshore wind production and the accompanying job, manufacturing, and investment growth for the nation.”

The department stated ATLANTIS projects will develop new technologies for floating, offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) using the discipline of control co-design (CCD).

Control co-design methodologies can offer diverse engineering disciplines that can work simultaneously while designing a device, instead of sequential steps. This approach can also enable project teams to develop new ways to build FOWTs that would not be possible using a traditional design approach.

The department also said that most of the US offshore wind resources are found in waters that are very deep for traditional offshore wind turbines. In such cases, floating turbines offer new set of technical challenges.

To be successful, ATLANTIS projects will need design approaches that can maximize power to weight ratios while maintaining or increasing turbine efficiency.

The department said: “The ATLANTIS funding opportunity encourages collaboration, calling on scientists, engineers, and practitioners from different disciplines, technology sectors, and organizations to form diverse and experienced project teams. ARPA-E projects are intended to facilitate scientific and technological discoveries that a single group alone would not be able to achieve.”

In early January, the department announced $25m funding for 12 projects focused on marine energy, which includes ocean wave power, tidal, and river/ocean current devices that convert movement of water into electricity.

The selected projects, which are funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Water Power Technologies Office, are expected to reduce capital costs and accelerate the innovation cycle by testing new concepts.