10 Interesting Facts About Offshore Wind Energy

10 Interesting Facts About Offshore Wind Energy

10. Offshore Wind Resources Are Abundant: Offshore wind has the potential to deliver large amounts of clean, renewable energy to fulfill the electrical needs of cities along U.S. coastlines.

9. Offshore Wind Turbines Can Be Extremely Tall: In order to capture the abundant wind resources available offshore, offshore turbines can be over 500 ft, about one-and-a-half-times the height of the Washington Monument, with blades the length of a football field.

8. Offshore Wind Components Are Getting Larger: Offshore wind turbine components are transported by ships and barges, reducing some of the logistical challenges that land-based wind components encounter, such as narrow roadways or tunnels. These components enable offshore wind developers to build larger turbines capable of producing more electricity.

7. The U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Addresses All Challenges: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) works collaboratively with industry and academia to address research challenges that are unique to U.S. offshore wind (like hurricanes), and to understand and address market barriers such as environmental impacts, logistical challenges, siting and permitting, and infrastructure development. 

6. Offshore Wind Farms Use Undersea Cables to Transmit Electricity to the Grid: Electricity produced by offshore wind turbines travels back to land through a series of cable systems that are buried in the sea floor. 

5. The Majority of U.S. Offshore Wind Resources Are in Deep Waters: It is unclear whether any significant harm is done to birds by onshore wind. It is crucial to get a handle at an early stage on whether there is any serious harm to marine biodiversity as we embark on building multi-gigawatt offshore wind farms and other energy infrastructure in the sea.

4. Offshore Wind Turbines Can Float: Several companies are developing innovative floating offshore wind platforms for use in deep waters. Three kinds of floating platforms are spar-buoy, tension leg platform, and semi-submersible.

3. Offshore Wind is Right on Time: Offshore winds are typically stronger during the day. Most land-based wind resources are stronger at night, when electricity demands are lower.

2. Offshore Wind Resources are Near Most Americans: Nearly 80 percent of the nation’s electricity demand occurs in the coastal and Great Lakes states—where most Americans live. 

1. Offshore Wind is Here To Stay: The nation’s first commercial offshore wind project, the 30-megawatt (MW) project, comprises five 6-MW GE wind turbines installed in state waters off the coast of Block Island. There are about 30 offshore wind projects in various stages of development across the United States.