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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has said it intends to use $30 million from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reinforce wind energy’s key role as a clean energy resource.
Of the total $30 million funding, the DOE has invited applications for a $28 million funding opportunity for projects that support certain initiatives.
It includes funding of $9.7 million to advance technologies needed to transmit large amounts of power from offshore wind over long distances.
This funding will bolster standards for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission for offshore wind while developing and validating innovative controls to ensure reliability and compatibility with alternating and direct current. The gaps in education and workforce training to support HVDC transmission deployment for U.S. offshore wind will also be identified and addressed.
Funding of $6.9 million has been announced to help characterize offshore wind development’s economic and other impacts on local communities who are the beneficiaries and support the participation of research-enabling communities.
The permit processes to stabilize the accessibility of distributed wind will be improved to make it cost-effective and equitably deployed for the communities. Funding of $3.3 million will support innovative zoning and permitting methods for distributed wind projects that provide power for nearby homes, farms, schools, and businesses.
Also announced is an $8 million funding that will support research to study the behavior of bats which collide into wind turbines. A part of this funding will also be utilized for technology development and field testing to advance bat-deterrent technologies.
DOE also released a Request for Information (RFI) on research needs for anchoring and mooring systems that attach floating offshore wind structures to the sea floor in deep water. The DOE has decided to allocate the remaining $2.5 million of the total funding for R&D funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The details gathered from the RFI will help the department plan future work to advance floating offshore wind toward cost-effective commercialization and domestic manufacturing, including the technologies that help maintain the stability of floating turbines in the sea.
Recently, the U.S. said it would hold a lease sale for areas off the West Coast for wind projects critical to achieving offshore wind goals of 30 GW by 2030 and a floating offshore wind target of 15 GW by 2035.
According to a report released by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the DOE, the country needs to deploy 70-150 GW of wind along with 40-90 GW of solar annually until 2030 to decarbonize America’s power sector by 2035.