February 7, 2011 - $50 million more for offshore wind

Monday, February 7, 2011

Offshore wind just got another boost.   Today Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu released a joint National Offshore Wind Strategy, which bills itself as the first-ever interagency plan on offshore wind energy.  As part of this strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy envisions 10 gigawatts of offshore wind generating capacity by 2020 and 54 gigawatts by 2030.

That's not all: the Secretaries also announced up to $50.5 million in new funding for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment.  The plan includes three solicitations, proposing to award up to $50.5 million over 5 years, to promote offshore wind R&D and eliminate market barriers.  Up to $25 million will be available for technology development for wind turbine design tools and hardware.  Up to $18 million will be available for studies and research to identify and remove market barriers.  Up to $7.5 more million will bne used to fund R&D into wind turbine drivetrains.

The announcement also includes the designation under the "Smart from the Start" program of high priority Wind Energy Areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.  To reduce the burden on project developers, these areas will receive advanced environmental reviews by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).  If BOEMRE's review does not identify any significant impacts, leases could be available by the end of this year.

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