UMaine’s Floating Wind Turbine Project Gets $4M

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center the first phase of a potential $93.2 million grant to develop an offshore floating wind demonstration project. The demonstration project will de-risk the UMaine’s VolturnUS floating platform so that more private capital can flow in to Maine to build larger commercial farms.

During the first phase, awarded $4 million, the engineering, design and permitting will be completed. The next year, DOE will select up to three of the offshore projects that received awards, for follow-up funding. During this phase, the focus will be on siting, construction and installation with the goal of commercial operation by 2017. The UMaine Composites Center’s partners have pledged nearly $40 million in additional funds for the project.

OFFSHORE_WIND“We are pleased that the DOE has selected our team’s program after a rigorous technical review,” said Dr. Habib Dagher, P.E., director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and principal investigator for the project. “This R&D program could be transformational for our state, and will help us demonstrate a unique, patent-pending floating wind turbine technology called VolturnUS.”

The program, known as “Aqua Ventus I,” will be a 12 MW demonstration wind park using the VolturnUS floating platform technology developed at the UMaine Composites Center over the last four years. This project builds on the success of the DeepCwind Consortium Research Program, spearheaded by UMaine Composites Center and its industry partners. In spring 2013, a 1:8-scale VolturnUS floating platform will be deployed by UMaine researchers at the UMaine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site near Monhegan Island, Maine.

According to UMaine, deepwater floating offshore wind farms could harness stronger and more consistent winds than traditional fixed-foundation offshore wind turbines. This type of wind turbine would also be out of sight of the shore, alleviating esthetic concerns.

The Gulf of Maine has 156.6 GW of offshore wind potential, the majority of which is in deepwater. Maine has a plan to build a 5,000 MW network of floating farms by 2030, which would attract $20 billion of private capital to our state, and create thousands of jobs.

One thought on “UMaine’s Floating Wind Turbine Project Gets $4M

  1. Obama’s energy policy is right. Japan’s FiT in July is among the highest in the world. Japan’s FiT is shaking the renewable energy market. New solutions will be showed in Japan. This is it!
    Floating Wind Turbine is one of the best solutions for USA and UK. U.K has more install places around its shores than any other in the world. USA has Atlantic Coast. As you know, Every year Some typhoons arrive Japan. The typhoon has strong wind. Floating Wind Turbines must have constructed to resist typhoons. So they have to reduce vibration to install Floating Wind Turbines on the sea. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! Vibration’s caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating Wind Turbines has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating Wind Turbines are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, this Floating Body Stabilizers have been used to reduce vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can see New Floating Body Stabilizer videos in YouTube.,