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New Report Characterizes Existing Offshore Wind Grid Interconnection Capabilities

September 4, 2014

The Energy Department has released the first National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study (NOWEGIS), coordinated by experts from ABB, AWS Truepower, Duke Energy, the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

NOWEGIS investigated the key economic and technological factors that will influence the integration of offshore wind energy onto the national grid. NOWEGIS studied the installation of 54 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity—enough to power nearly 17 million homes—and suggests that the United States has great potential for offshore wind energy resources and that the appropriate transmission technologies already exist to connect this offshore wind energy to the grid.

At the national level, NOWEGIS estimates that 54 GW of offshore wind energy could reduce the national annual electricity production costs by approximately $7.68 billion—corresponding to approximately $41/MWh of offshore wind added to the grid—helping justify the high initial investment of offshore wind projects. (Note that this represents operations costs and does not include capital costs.)

Read the executive summary and full report.

—Devonie McCamey