RWE Renewables and Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary Diamond Offshore Wind have both entered the US offshore wind market by agreeing to develop a single-turbine, 12MW floating demonstration project.
The project partners will work with the University of Maine on its floating offshore wind pilot, Aqua Ventus, which is due to be completed in 2023.
RWE Renewables and Diamond Offshore Wind – working together as the project company New England Aqua Ventus (NEAV) – will handle the projects’ permitting, construction, assembly, deployment and ongoing operations.
RWE's clean energy arm has a 22GW renewable energy portfolio, including nearly 4GW of offshore wind, of which 2.4GW is operational, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. Diamond Offshore Wind's parent company Mitsubishi Corporation holds stakes in 1.6GW of offshore wind capacity worldwide, of which 870MW is operational.
Meanwhile, UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center will continue with design and engineering, research and development and post-construction monitoring.
The 12MW New England Aqua Ventus I New England Aqua Ventus I (12MW) Offshoreoff Monhegan, Maine, USA, North America Click to see full details project will consist of a single 10-12MW turbine installed on a semi-submersible concrete, four-column floating platform – UMaine’s VolturnUS concept – 22km from the coast of Maine.
A 1:8 scale model of the pilot was successfully tested off the coast of Maine in 2013, and was approved by regulators for full-scale deployment in 2017.
The full-size Aqua Ventus project will provide power to the Maine grid through a power purchase agreement with the Central Maine Power Company.
NEAV and UMane hope to further evaluate floating offshore wind technology, monitor environmental factors and develop best practices for offshore wind to coexist with traditional marine activities
As a next stage of development, NEAV plans to engage with the local fishing industry, other maritime users and coastal communities.