United States

United States

Growing interest in Hawaiian offshore potential

UNITED STATES: Hawaii is emerging as a prime candidate to pioneer utility-scale deployment of floating offshore wind.

Two developers have pitched projects using PrinciplePower's WindFloat platform
Two developers have pitched projects using PrinciplePower's WindFloat platform

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will launch a call for interest in offshore wind development in Hawaii later this summer.

The call will focus on the industry's interest in acquiring commercial leases off the coast of Oahu, the third-largest of the Hawaiian islands, but which is home to nearly three-quarters of the state's 1.4 million people.

Sea depths of up to 800 metres mean that floating foundations will be required.

BOEM was already in receipt of two unsolicited lease requests. Danish developer Alpha Wind Energy has pitched for two 400MW projects in the area.

Another developer, Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind, has expressed interest in building a 400MW project.

Both developers are proposing to use Principle Power's semi-submersible WindFloat design. A prototype, supporting a 2MW Vestas turbine, has been under test off the coast of Portugal since 2011.

Hawaii has set itself a renewable energy goal of 100% by 2045.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, 90% of the state's electricity is currently generated from imported fossil fuels.

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