US Offshore Wind Grows Behind the Scenes

While it seems offshore wind in the US is barely budging, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. 

Besides the tiny project under construction in the Northeast, offshore wind projects in the pipeline total 15.7 gigawatts (GW)!  13 that are in advanced planning stages total 6 GW – enough power for 1.8 million homes – and 12 projects (over 3 GW) plan to be operating by 2020.

Offshore projects are moving ahead off the coasts of nine states. With 80% of US electricity demand coming from coastal states, offshore wind can play a crucial role in meeting our energy needs.

Deepwater’s 30 MW project is the first to be under construction in the US:Offshore Wind Mass

Globally, there’s now 9 GW of operating offshore wind farms, with another 4 GW coming online next year. In fact, offshore wind is expected to drive much of the industry’s growth going forward.

Turbines are getting bigger and bigger, with the largest ones at 6 MW and 8 MW (typical turbines on land are 1.9 MW). To give you an idea of how large they are, the average offshore turbine at 3.4 MW is 279-feet tall and the blades are 377-feet in diameter. 

Siemens, which leads on manufacturing offshore turbines, recently received a $1.2 billion order for 91 of its 6 MW turbines for Race Bank farm in the UK, and another order for 67 turbines for the Veja Mate Offshore Project in the German North Sea. The company is the favored supplier for a $2.9 billion order (171, 7 MW turbines) if the Hornsea Project One – the largest in the world – goes forward. Dong Energy is the developer for all these projects. 

Offshore wind is expected to reach 30 GW in Europe by 2020 – 45% compound annual growth, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The EU has 8 GW installed right now.

Read our article, Offshore Wind: Cheaper Than Gas By 2020.

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