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Cutting offshore wind costs by 25%

Dominion has received a two-year, US$500,000 grant from the US Department of Energy (DoE) to investigate ways to reduce the cost of offshore wind by at least 25%.

By Kari Williamson

The grant is one of 41 projects across 20 states totalling US$43 million over the next five years announced earlier this month to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.

Mary C. Doswell, Senior Vice President-Alternative Energy Solutions, says: “The intent of the project is to achieve at least 25% reduction in the levelised cost of energy relative to a benchmark 600 MW power station design by integrating innovations in turbine, foundation, installation and electrical infrastructure into the most optimal combination.”

A Dominion-led team will utilise an integrated systems approach for optimising the hypothetical design of a 600 MW offshore wind project located at a variety of reference sites on the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf, as well as other sites on the US Atlantic coastline from Massachusetts through South Carolina, in water depths of 10-60 m.

Dominion also is studying what it would take to build a high-voltage underwater transmission line extending from Virginia Beach out to the potential commercial offshore wind lease area in the Atlantic Ocean.

Dominion says it plans to complete the study this year, evaluating options to best support multiple offshore wind projects off the coast of Virginia.

Dominion is partnering with the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute in Arlington, VA, DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and transmission equipment provider ALSTOM Power. Moffatt & Nichol, a maritime engineering firm specialising in structural design, ocean engineering, ports, harbours and marine terminals, is also a partner.

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