AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition
October 7 - 8, 2014
Atlantic City, NJ
2014 will be a turning point for the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. With projects in advanced stages of development, plans for lease auctions in several states, and an upcoming announcement of finalists for the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Initiative, the U.S. offshore wind energy industry is picking up speed and momentum. 2014 will be a critical year; don't get left behind as the industry and the players move forward.
- The United States has a vast offshore wind energy resource and in early 2011, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a coordinated strategic plan to achieve the deployment of 10 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2020 and 54 GW by 2030.
- State and federal processes for developing offshore wind projects in the U.S. are well underway:
- At the end of 2013, there were 12 offshore wind projects in the proposal stage that have achieved at least one significant milestone.
- These 12 offshore wind projects in various stages of development span 10 states off the East, West, Great Lakes and Texas coasts.
- These 12 offshore wind projects represent over 5,000 MW of offshore development with turbine sizes ranging from 3.0 to 6.0 MW, along with a transmission project that could carry up to 7,000 MW.
Major Milestones Achieved
- In June 2013, the U.S.’s first offshore wind turbine, VolturnUS, was deployed by the University of Maine’s DeepCwind Consortium.
- This is a 65-foot, one-eighth-scale model that utilizes an innovative concrete semi-submersible foundation.
- Furthermore, the U.S. DOI and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have made significant progress:
- The first competitive lease auction was held in July of 2013, in which Deepwater Wind was selected as the winner for two offshore wind energy sites located in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
- The second was in September of 2013, when Dominion Virginia Power won the auction for a lease area off the coast of Virginia.
- In December of 2013, BOEM announced plans to hold a third auction in lease areas offshore of Maryland in 2014.
New Power Off-Take Mechanisms
- In 2013, the State of Maryland enacted legislation creating an offshore renewable energy certificate (OREC) program to facilitate 200 MW of development.
- The application process for this program will begin once the Maryland Public Service Commission adopts regulations sometime before July 2014.
Investment in Research and Development
- The U.S. DOE has made a significant investment in research and development to lower the levelized cost of energy and accelerate permitting timelines for offshore wind energy projects.
- Most recently, in December of 2012, DOE announced seven winners for its Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Initiative:
- The goal of this program is to provide funding to verify innovative technology and help lower costs.
- Each awardee received up to $4 million to complete the engineering, site evaluation, and planning phase of the project.
- The seven awardees included projects off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Great Lakes, and Gulf of Mexico.
- In 2014, DOE will select up to three of these seven projects to receive an additional $47 million in funding for the follow-on design, fabrication, and deployment phases.
Industry experts and analysts believe the U.S. offshore wind industry is well positioned for significant growth in the coming years. The high potential for the offshore segment of the U.S. wind energy industry demonstrates the need for continued focus and investment. The AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER 2014 Conference & Exhibition is poised to build on the successes of last year’s conference, just as companies expect to reach new benchmarks along the way to making the U.S. offshore wind industry a reality.
Want to begin the conversation now? Join the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Group on LinkedIn to connect with other offshore wind energy professionals and attendees of past AWEA Offshore WINDPOWERs, and discuss critical topics before this year's event. Attendees of the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition can still access last year's conference presentations.