March 9, 2006
DOE to Develop Multi-Megawatt Offshore Wind
Turbine with General Electric Contract Valued at $27 million,
supports President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s
(DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden,
Colorado, has signed a $27 million, multi-year contract with the
General Electric Company (GE) to develop a new offshore wind power
system over the next several years. Approximately $8 million of the
offshore wind project will be cost-shared by DOE.
“Offshore wind technology, another aspect of
President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, can reduce our
dependence on foreign energy sources as well as our emissions of
pollution and greenhouse gasses,” Douglas L. Faulkner, Acting
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said.
“Wind is one of our most important renewable energy resources and
this work will allow us to use our resources more extensively and
The goal of the project is to design, fabricate
and test a multi-megawatt scale wind turbine which could produce
electricity at a much-reduced cost. The wind turbine will be located
offshore and is expected to produce electricity at a cost of five
cents per kilowatt-hour, or 52% less than the current 9.5 cents per
Off-shore wind is part of the Advanced Energy
Initiative which President Bush announced in his recent State of the
Union address. The initiative seeks to change how we power our homes
and offices and automobiles. The NREL and GE-developed advanced wind
system will include innovative foundations, construction techniques,
rotor designs, drivetrains and electrical components designed for
the harsh offshore environment, while optimizing the total
life-cycle cost of offshore wind farms.
Although there are currently no offshore wind
farms in the United States, several projects are in the permitting
process. Preliminary studies indicate that with sufficient research
and development support, competitive commercial offerings can be
realized and the U.S. offshore wind electric generating capacity
could grow significantly over the next two decades. Populated U.S.
coastal regions with high energy prices will benefit from the
development of this clean, domestic energy resource.
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