A 20kW offshore turbine prototype mounted on a floating platform will be installed off Maine in June. The technology will be subject to a three-month test, as part of preparations for a two-turbine 12MW floating trial.
The turbine will initially be installed in sheltered waters off Castine. It will then be moved to deeper waters and a much more exposed position, near the island of Monhegan, for July and August, project director Habib-J Dagher told Windpower Offshore.
This summer's test is being organised by the DeepCwind consortium, which last year won $4m in early-stage funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE). Its members include the University of Maine, Central Maine Power Co (owned by Iberdrola) and Technip.
The consortium hopes to secure one of two much larger DoE grants – of up to $47m - allowing it to proceed with the 12MW project. This would feature two "VolturnUS floating units". The DoE's decision is expected in April 2014.
Another contender for the DoE funding is Statoil's Hywind project, which would feature four 3MW turbines mounted on Hywind platforms. This is also planned for deep waters off Maine.