The last 12 months have seen remarkable developments in North America’s offshore wind industry. From the start-up of the nation’s first offshore wind farm, to the announcement of unprecedented commitments by Massachusetts and New York, the market is finally starting to take off. Several projects in Atlantic states are now in advanced stages of development and are scheduled to begin commercial operations by 2022, while North Carolina’s first offshore wind auction is set to take place in March this year.
Moreover, the Department of Energy (DOE) has deployed two AXYS WindSentinel buoys off the coasts of New Jersey and Virginia to collect meteorological and oceanographic data. The information produced by the buoys will be the first publicly available multi-seasonal hub-height data to be collected in U.S. coastal waters and is meant to support the offshore wind industry. Reaching 10 cents/kWh Cost reductions will be crucial for the growth of America’s offshore wind market, and it is widely believed across the industry that the U.S. can benefit from Europe’s experience.
A recent example is Vattenfall’s winning bid of $53/MWh for the 600 MW Kriegers Flak, which was 58% lower than the cap price for the Danish offshore wind tender. This record-low bid proves that the European Union’s goal for an offshore wind levelized cost of energy of $112/MWh by 2020 is possible.
In the U.S., cost reductions will depend on near-term deployment as well as sustained investment in offshore wind technology and the supply chain. “Reducing the cost is a challenge to the industry. In Massachusetts, we did not set a price but we did require that any subsequent project be a of lower cost than the previous one,” said Bill White, senior director for offshore wind sector development at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. “We understand the first projects will be a bit more expensive because we do not have a supply chain yet in the U.S. As an emerging market, we’re excited to see the beginnings of cost reductions in Europe – some significant with the more recent tenders. It’s very positive for the U.S. market,” said White.
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Readers should also be aware of the US Offshore Wind 2017 Conference & Expo. Secure your market share as top wind stakeholders pursue offshore wind expansion across the USA, May 8 to 9, 2017 Hyatt Regency Long Island Hotel Order the brochure here: https://goo.gl/v8r32E