The federal government is stepping up its efforts to kick-start the offshore wind industry by awarding $28 million in grants to seven projects that are developing varying kinds of power-generation technology.
The Department of Energy said Wednesday that each developer would receive up to $4 million to complete the engineering, design and permitting phases of their projects in six states. Three of the seven will then be selected to receive up to $47 million over four years, subject to Congressional appropriations, for construction and installation, with the aim of having them begin commercial operation by 2017. So far, no offshore wind farm is operating in American waters.
The projects are in Maine, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Oregon. In New Jersey, one project plans to install as many as six direct-drive turbines in state waters three miles off Atlantic City, using a bottom-mounted design that is intended to minimize environmental impacts. In one Maine project, Statoil North America wants to build four three-megawatt turbines on floating structures in the Gulf of Maine near Boothbay Harbor.