A consortium of New England schools will get $700,000 in federal stimulus money to develop three deepwater wind energy test sites in the Gulf of Maine.
This press release from the University of New Hampshire says UNH’s Center for Ocean Renewable Energy… better known as CORE… has teamed with the University of Maine-led consortium, known as DeepCwind, and will test the first prototype floating structure with a wind turbine:
Unlike other offshore wind projects, which consist of wind turbines mounted on shafts sunk into the ocean floor in relatively shallow water, deepwater wind utilizes floating turbines moored to the ocean floor. The DeepCwind project will launch only the second deepwater wind energy facility in the world (the first is in Norway) and the first offshore, deepwater wind project in the U.S.
“This is a really exciting project, because we’re pushing the envelope,” says CORE director Ken Baldwin, professor of ocean and mechanical engineering.
Within the next year, CORE will install a wind turbine with a 25-foot diameter on a 60-foot tower floating in 170 feet of water just south of the Isles of Shoals, where a mooring grid is already in place – and permitted – from UNH’s Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center. The site is six miles offshore and one mile south of White Island. CORE researchers will equip the 10-kilowatt turbine with extensive instrumentation to measure wind, wave, and temperature effects on the turbine itself, the platform on which it floats, and the mooring lines that anchor it to the ocean floor.
This offshore wind energy project has been a big deal for Maine for several years and picked up UNH’s ocean engineering expertise to help bring this dream of 10- and 100-kilowatt wind turbines home.