United States

United States

Oregon 30MW floating project clears hurdle

UNITED STATES: Principle Power has been given the go ahead to submit a formal plan to build a 30MW floating pilot wind project off the US west coast.

An artists impression of the floating wind farm
An artists impression of the floating wind farm
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said the failure of any other companies to submit competing proposals meant that Principle Power can now put forward a plan within its 39-square-kilometre proposed lease area off Oregon's coast.

The project is designed to generate electricity from five 6MW turbines installed on the company's Windfloat foundations.

Waters in the proposed lease area are 400 metres deep.

While BOEM has issued five commercial leases for offshore wind developments on the east coast, the granting of a lease to Principal would be the first on the west coast.

Due to its lack of continental shelf and corresponding lack of shallow waters suitable for conventional offshore projects, offshore developments on the west coast is likely to look to floating technology.

Principle Power, which received $4 million in Department of Energy funding for its demonstration project, submitted a request to BOEM for a commercial wind energy lease in May 2013.

Since a request for interest issued by the BOEM solicited no other proposals, the body declared a determination of no commercial interest.

The company can now submit a plan for the proposed lease area, and BOEM will then complete an environmental analysis, which includes the opportunity for public comment, before making any final decision on lease.

A full-scale prototype of the Windfloat foundation is in place five kilometres off Portugal's coast near Agucadoura in the north of the country.

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