Offshore wind projects gain federal funding

(Source: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, (NOWRDC), announced $3.4 Million in funding for six new projects in supply chain efficiency and asset monitoring and inspection.

Three new supply chain projects aim to improve the production of quality components and streamline transportation of major parts for wind plants. Recipients include the Electric Power Research Institute for “Verifying Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Integrity During Manufacture”; GE Renewable Energy for “Weld Assembly of Large Castings”; and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for “Standardized Scalable Mooring Solutions Optimized for the U.S. Supply Chain.”

Three other projects aimed at reducing the operational costs of offshore wind farms’ asset inspection and monitoring are also being funded. Recipients include GE Research for “Autonomous Vessel-Based Multi-Sensing System for Inspection and Monitoring”; University of Massachusetts – Lowell  for “A Novel Structural Health Monitoring System for Offshore Wind Turbines”; and Dive Technologies for “Fully Autonomous Subsea Asset Inspection by a Shore-Launched Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.”

Sam Russo is the COO of Dive Technologies. He stated that Dive will be able to deploy robotic systems to demonstrate all weather, long-endurance, and fully autonomous seafloor asset monitoring.

“This next-generation technology is poised to deliver safer and more cost-efficient seafloor and infrastructure data collection, advancing the nation’s offshore wind goals,” he said.

Once contracted, the six new projects bring the NOWRDC’s total funding portfolio to $31 million for 46 projects. 40 projects received $28 million from the Consortium after the first two RFPs.

Through a competitive process, NOWRDC granted $10.3 million to 12 projects in 2020. The projects included:

  • Demonstration of Shallow-Water Mooring Components for FOWTs (ShallowFloat) – Principal Power, Inc.
  • Design and Certification of Taut-synthetic Moorings for Floating Wind Turbines – University of Maine
  • Dual-Functional Tuned Inerter Damper for Enhanced Semi-Sub Offshore Wind Turbine – Virginia Tech University
  • Innovative Anchoring System for Floating Offshore Wind – Triton Systems, Inc
  • Techno-Economic Mooring Configuration and Design for Floating Offshore Wind – University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Development of Advanced Methods for Evaluating Grid Stability Impacts – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Development of a Metocean Reference Site near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Wind Energy Areas – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Enabling Condition Based Maintenance for Offshore Wind – General Electric
  • Physics Based Digital Twins for Optimal Asset Management – Tufts University
  • Radar Based Wake Optimization of Offshore Wind Farms – General Electric
  • Survival Modeling for Offshore Wind Prognostics – Tagup, Inc.
  • 20GW by 2035: Supply Chain Roadmap for Offshore Wind in the US – National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), established NOWRDC in 2018 in order to address research priorities for offshore winds. It supports the goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2030.

The full list of NOWRDC’s portfolio of projects is listed here.