White House announces 15GW floating-platform offshore wind plants by 2035 and have

by Sep 16, 2022

White House (WH) has announced a new goal to deploying 15GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035. Initial target areas are off the USA West Coast and DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will start auction for a lease by the end of 2022.

Due to the nascent state of floating platform wind energy industry, current global installed capacity is less than 150MW, although some countries have announced plans for small scale projects. In this regard, WH has announced a new initiative to bolster the R&D of floating offshore wind turbine platform by announcing a $50m funding through a multi-agency Floating Offshore Wind Shot policy initiative, which is under the purview of the Departments of Energy (DOE), Interior (DOI), Commerce, and Transportation. A part of this research funding will be from the grants allocated under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Floating wind turbine platforms are considered those that are employed in areas with water depth greater than 60m.The main target will be to develop technologies that can lower the cost of floating offshore wind energy to $45/MWh by 2035, from $150/MWh right now. For comparison: In 2021, fixed platform offshore cost was $84/MWh.

Lastly, the reason for push for floating platforms is because NREL has released an updated assessment which states that in USA, 2.8TW of potential from offshore floating platform is available as compared to 1.5TW available from fixed platform wind plants. Important to note that, this target of 15GW is in addition to the planned 30GW fixed platform offshore capacity by 2030.

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