DOE Announces Major Funding For Offshore Wind Projects

Government officials today announced major steps forward in support of offshore wind energy in the United States, including new funding opportunities for companies interested in offshore wind energy deployment.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu released a joint statement that announed the availability of up to $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment.

Salazar also identified several high priority wind energy areas in the mid-Atlantic that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.

Offshore wind development became much more attractive during the BP Gulf Oil Spill crisis, with many advocates boasting “there’s no such thing as an offshore wind spill.” Since then, many states have been pushing the federal government to say yes to offshore wind farms.

In April 2010, the government approved America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. When completed, Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the Cape and Islands electricity needs in average winds.

Secretary Chu announced that the money will be dispensed over the next five years to companies and individuals that develop breakthrough offshore wind energy technology and find ways to reduce market barriers to its deployment.

Under the National Offshore Wind Strategy (PDF), the Department of Energy is pursuing a scenario that includes deployment of deploying 10 gigawatts of offshore wind generating capacity by 2020 and 54 gigawatts by 2030.

This includes development in both federal and state offshore areas, including along Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts as well as in Great Lakes and Hawaiian waters. Those levels of development would produce enough energy to power 2.8 million and 15.2 million average American homes, respectively.

Click here for a fact sheet on the National Offshore Wind Strategy.

Related Reading:
TVA Adds More Renewable Wind Power To The Grid
UK Abandons Plans For Wave Energy Project
Cape Wind Will Harness Energy, But Are Giant Gravel Batteries The Secret To Storing It?

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - phault


Charles Kohm
Charles Kohm7 years ago

The prospect of future funding for renewable energy projects will die in Congress. The Republican party receives millions of dollars from big oil and has only this week tried to de-fund government guaranteed loans for solar projects .

Julianna D.
Juliana D8 years ago


Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman8 years ago


Beth Buczynski
Beth Buczynski8 years ago

@Theresia H. I appreciate your concern for wildlife...too often we humans make our decisions without thought for their welfare. However, the alternatives to offshore wind--coal mining, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, offshore drilling for oil--are KNOWN for their ill effects on wildlife. It might seem trite, but how much worse can wind turbines really be?

Brian F.
Brian F8 years ago

We need to move quickly and establish an off shore wind industry. 10 years of debating Cape Wind is far too long. China, Europe and the rest of the world are running laps around us. China overtook the US in wind power installation for the first time in 2010, because of our failure to enact a renewable energy standard. This of course is the fault of the corporate bought and paid for republicans led by that moran James Inhofe, who lies and says that Global Warming does not exist. The republicans just lie because the dirty coal and oil industry pays them millions of dollars to lie about the existence of Global Warming. We need to build massive solar power plants, wind farms, and geothermal plants everywhere to mitigate climate change. We also need a national program to put solar power on every home in America by dramatically reducing the price and overcomming the barriers. If every home that could in America had solar power and small wind, or geothermal power, we could close all dirty coal and other fossil fuel plants and we wouln't have to build as many solar power plants, or wind farms that take up much land and require miles of ugly transmission lines. Decentralizing the power grid with solar and small wind power is more important than anything else we can do because it eliminates the need for dirty coal and other fossil fuel plants and minimizes our need to take up more precious land for wind farms, solar power plants, and geothermal power plants.

Theresia H.
Theresia H8 years ago

I personally don't support offshore wind farms. Like what Virginia B has said, we really don't know to what extent these would have on marine life and also to the birds too.

Morgan Getham
Morgan Getham8 years ago

Well, as of very recently, the U.S. is apparently leading the world in energy output from wind power, so something must be working.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M8 years ago

I also think solar would be good to start with! I actually wonder why they want 'off shore wind power', unless they have done the actual homework. There are a lot inland places with enough wind, and the generators would not be (I am guessing here) near water.

Wyatt G.
Wyatt G8 years ago

I'm starting to see people acting more responsible for keeping the planet clean and me likey!

Dana W.
Dana W8 years ago

Sounds interesting but I think we should pursue solar solutions first.