New floating wind turbines are ready to power the United States. These new devices are designed to float off-shore further away than the existing ones, opening new areas to harvest wind power.
This new phase of American wind power will start in Maine; California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington are expected to follow, according to a recent report.
Floating turbines are commonly called “floaters,” and they are held to a mooring line and also anchored in waters deeper than 160 feet.
Experts such as Walter Musial, leading expert on off-shore wind for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, consider this type of turbine a global industry.
In the coming years, nearly 80% of the world’s off-shore waters will be suitable for floating harvesting, he estimates. Also, they will be cost-competitive by 2024.
According to the University of Delaware, there already substantial investment in floating turbines. Nearly $70 billion for projects in various stages of development, mainly around the west coast.
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Heavy investments in floating wind turbines
These assets, when operational, would represent 18.6 GW of electricity, the equivalent of 18 nuclear power plants between 2020 and 2030.
For the U.S, these kinds of projects are developed by U.S innovators, especially in Maine. Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is one of them.
According to the Science Mag report, he started working on this in 2009, when Maine was facing an economic crisis with the peak oil heating prices. It was not sustainable for the region’s families, so Dagher started researching for new opportunities in wind.
Recently, Maine partnered with Diamond Offshore Wind, Japan’s Mitsubishi Group subsidiary, and with RWE Renewables, also subsidiary for one of the largest electric companies in Germany.
Together, with a $100 million investment will explore new opportunities for the energy sector in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
“The strength of Maine’s economy, the preservation of our natural resources, for the well-being of our communities and future generations depend greatly on our transitioning to clean energy and tackling the threat of climate change.”, concluded Gov. Janet Mills announcing the RWE-Mitsubishi partnership.
Construction of the projects is expected to be complete by 2023.