WASHINGTON—The Biden administration will seek to add deep-water offshore wind energy, a developing technology that isn’t yet widely used, to its mix of renewable energy sources, administration leaders said last week.Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters on a White House call that their departments would advance efforts to increase capacity and bring down costs of floating offshore wind platforms that produce power over deep seas.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an Interior Department agency, will make specific siting decisions later, Haaland said. But the administration is targeting areas off the coast of Oregon and California and in the Gulf of Maine on the East Coast.
The most promising Oregon site is near Coos Bay in the southern part of the state, said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who was also on the call.
Existing offshore wind turbines are situated in shallow coastal areas and secured directly to the ocean floor, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said on the press call. Developing technology for floating platforms to harness wind in deeper waters would unleash much more potential energy, the officials said.
Including deep-water areas, offshore wind could reach a capacity more than double existing U.S. electricity demand, Granholm said. But about two-thirds of that potential capacity is in deep-water areas, according to a DOE fact sheet. Those areas currently produce virtually zero energy worldwide.
$50 million to be spent
The Energy Department will spend nearly $50 million on efforts to develop deep-water offshore wind.
Most of that funding, $31 million, will go to the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop floating platform technology.
Energy will also fund a $6.85 million prize competition for engineers to design floating platforms that are optimized for wide-scale domestic manufacturing and commercialization, according to a White House fact sheet. Read more