Researchers from five Maryland-based universities (University of Maryland College Park, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore) are joining forces to form the National Offshore Wind Innovation Center (NOW-I-C).

Their mission statement is to increase fundamental scientific-engineering-economic knowledge and innovation, as a Maryland-based Research Center of Excellence, to lower the cost of commercializing offshore wind in Maryland and enable a successful national offshore wind industry in the United States.

3 2OffshoreWindPhoto credit: Business Network for Offshore Wind and Christian Ennerfelt

The National Offshore Wind Innovation Center builds upon existing computational and experimental work initially funded by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Research Challenge Grant (MOWER) program as well as related federal grants from NSF/DOE/DOD and maintains close ties with the Business Network for Offshore Wind through their membership activities including the Innovation and Commercialization Committee.

Various researchers at the partner universities are already addressing offshore wind issues related to:

  • improved resource characterization and uncertainty reduction in the Atlantic,
  • high fidelity simulation of wind turbine mechanics and farm interactions for optimal resource usage,
  • floating turbine platforms using composite anchorages,
  • cost effective operations and maintenance along with system health management specifically for offshore wind farms,
  • combining economic and fluid dynamic modeling for optimal offshore farm layout and grid integration,
  • long duration unmanned aerial vehicles for offshore wind farm inspection of turbine blades and interference effects,
  • education and training of next generation work force, and
  • economic impact of offshore farms on fishing and the local economy.

These efforts align with the reduction of offshore wind technology costs and risks, supporting effective stewardship and increasing understanding of the benefits and costs of offshore wind; as identified in the National Offshore Wind Strategy recently released by DOE and BOEM. The National Offshore Wind Innovation Center is actively seeking additional partners and affiliates to strengthen our technical capabilities and commercialize offshore wind innovations; specifically reaching out to government agencies, national laboratories, industry and academia. Interested parties should contact James Baeder (baeder@umd.edu, 301-405-1107), Center Director for NOW-I-C.

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