Saturday, November 26, 2022
Home SCIENCE Build a better floating wind turbine and win $7 million from the...

Build a better floating wind turbine and win $7 million from the Department of Energy

The Department of Energy is launching a new competition to attract US companies into the business of designing and building floating wind turbines for offshore areas.

The contest offers a combined $5.75 million in prizes plus up to $1.1 million in assistance from Department of Energy laboratories. The goal is to encourage companies and inventors to design mass-produced platforms called “floats.”

In doing so, the Biden administration seeks to address a major hurdle in offshore wind power.

In waters deeper than 200 feet, conventional wind turbines built on foundations that extend to the ocean floor become too expensive, said Walter Musial, principal engineer at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

That currently prevents wind power from being harvested in about two-thirds of US marine areas where turbines could be close to population centers, he explained in an interview.

Some oil and gas platforms have been built to operate on platforms that float and are moored to the bottom with ropes or chains in energy-rich areas. “But what the oil and gas companies never did was mass-produce their structures. Almost all floating oil platforms are [a] unique,” ​​Musial said.

“We want to industrialize this,” he added, noting that some foreign countries are building supply chains capable of producing multiple floating platforms.

The Biden administration and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act have awarded awards to renewable energy projects that create the most jobs for Americans, especially in economically depressed areas, he noted. “We want to build supply chains here.”

Deep offshore water is a barrier to wind power production along the entire West Coast, the East Coast above Cape Cod and around Hawaii, he noted. And in some areas where shallow waters are nearby, moving wind turbines further out would reduce conflicts with fishing companies and with coastal dwellers who appreciate their views.

The goal of the competition, formally called the Offshore Wind Readiness Floating Prize, or FLOWIN, is to help produce around 1,000 15-megawatt floats with turbines that generate roughly enough clean electricity to power around 5 million homes.

The competition will have three phases. The first phase, which closes in mid-January, is designed to attract teams that have ideas for commercial technologies that would lower the cost of floats. Up to eight winners would receive $100,000 in cash and advance to a second round in which each team would develop a path for mass production and assembly. Up to five winners would receive $450,000 in cash and $100,000 in technical support vouchers from Department of Energy laboratories.

They would compete in a third phase and develop plans for production and deployment in specific regions of the US (the floats are designed to be assembled in ports and then towed to offshore sites). Up to three potential contest winners would each receive $900,000 in cash.

Reprinted from E&E News with permission of POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2022. E&E News provides essential news for energy and environmental professionals.


The composition of the Earth was modified by collisional erosion | Sciences

Isotope measurements suggest that collisional erosion has an outsized role in understanding the distribution of Earth's elements.

Ancient footprints reveal the ‘Serengeti of the Irish Sea’

In all, there are 31 footprint beds, pointing to a period of dramatic change in this ecosystem. "Until about 6,000 years ago, there...

Rotten Tomatoes’ First Card Game Will Test Your Movie Knowledge – Review Geek

Rotten Tomatoes, Cryptozoic Entertainment first Rotten Tomatoes card game is now available for pre-order. Designed in collaboration with Cryptozoic Entertainment, the multiplayer game puts...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

James Fleming, Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute has hundreds of global partnerships that require controlled access to sensitive health data. Its current CIO is James Fleming, who...

Did Verizon just raise their prices? Administrative fee is a price increase

Verizon has spent much of this year reworking its unlimited data offerings. Its presentation in September of a plan that includes the Apple...

How supercars are sold with NFT auctions

Many things have changed in the last 50 years, but one thing that has never and never will change is our love of speed....

Who will be Intel’s first foundry customer?

The panorama: Intel has ambitions to create a foundry business by making chips for other companies. This is an important...