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New NREL Report Showcases Potential of Domestic Offshore Wind Industry

October 5, 2015

Several researchers at the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—Walt Musial, Aaron Smith, and Tyler Stehly—released the 2014–2015 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report, which shows strong progress for the U.S. offshore wind market, including the start of construction for the Block Island Wind Farm, the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind plant. Block Island is just one of the 21 projects currently in the planning and development pipeline, totaling 15,650 megawatts of potential capacity.

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office and in collaboration with industry, the authors were able to present data that are intended to help the U.S. offshore wind industry and its stakeholders identify barriers to and opportunities for development. The scope of the report covers the fleet of projects operating worldwide through June 30, 2015, with particular focus on developments in 2014 and the first half of 2015. It also includes available data about projects that are currently under development to provide a forward-looking perspective.

The report was announced publicly on Tuesday, September 29, by José Zayas, the office director for the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the annual American Wind Energy Association Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland. The White House also highlighted the report during its simultaneous Summit on Offshore Wind.

In addition, one of the report authors, Aaron Smith, won the award for best poster, which covered the economics and infrastructure of the offshore market report.

—Kelly Yaker