The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium has selected two teams for contract negotiation as part of its continuing solicitation for wind research and development (R&D) technology projects. The two awards total $1,865,000 and will support development of lower cost turbine support structures, alternatives to heavy lift installation vessels, and mooring concepts for deepwater floating turbine platforms.

“The Consortium is excited to advance offshore wind plans by supporting research efforts that directly accelerate deployment,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, Executive Director, National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium.

The first project team, led by RCAM Technologies, will develop an innovative modular, fixed-bottom concrete support structure for offshore wind turbines, along with manufacturing and assembly processes. The design concept has potential to significantly reduce lifecycle costs, both by reducing the direct expense of fixed-bottom foundations and by providing an assembly method that avoids heavy lift vessels and uses existing U.S. coastal supply chains.

“This Consortium award will enable us to develop our innovative fixed-bottom foundation concept that removes barriers and reduces costs for U.S. offshore wind deployments, while supporting the growth of our offshore wind supply chain,” said Jason Cotrell, CEO, RCAM.

The second award was made to DeepFarm, a team of research partners, led by Principle Power Inc, that is developing a pioneering mooring system for deepwater floating offshore wind platforms. The DeepFarm project will enhance currently available open-source software tools for floating turbine design in order to optimize innovative mooring system components for robust operation and lower lifecycle costs.

“With the support of this award, DeepFarm will reduce the levelized cost of energy of deepwater projects by exploring advanced technologies and innovative solutions to moor floating wind platforms off of the Eastern Seaboard, West Coast and Hawaii,” said Seth Price, Principle Power’s VP of Technology.

“With these awards, the Consortium is driving collaborative research and development in offshore wind, reflecting current market needs for rapid cost-effective deployment,” said Robert Catell, Board Chair and President of the Consortium.

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium was established in 2018 when the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority was awarded $18.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As the first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore wind technology in the United States, the Consortium, as a not-for-profit organization, aims to develop cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind and to maximize economic benefit the United States. The grant from DOE was matched by financial support from NYSERDA for a term of four years. NYSERDA is administering this initial solicitation on behalf of the Consortium and is currently accepting proposals. More information on the Consortium can be found here.

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