In a move that would help offshore wind farms and fishing industries coexist in the U.S., Deepwater Wind recently pledged $1 million in research funding for the University of Massachusetts.
The funding would be used over five years for the Blue Economy Initiative and is contingent on approval of Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind offshore project by state utilities. The 144-MW Revolution Wind project, which would be sited in Deepwater’s federal lease off the coast of Massachusetts, would be combined with energy storage, according to the company. The developer submitted a bid for the project in July, and the selection of projects for negotiation is expected in January 2018.
The Blue Economy Initiative would be led by the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology via the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute. According to UMass Dartmouth, independent researchers at the Marine Fisheries Institute will establish a research portfolio to advance both offshore wind development and the fishing industry in the decades to come.
“This agreement recognizes the unique expertise of the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) faculty in the areas of marine habitats, fisheries, ocean observation and modelling, as well as other fields that are critical to every stage of offshore wind development,” SMAST Dean Steven Lohrenz said in a statement. “Meanwhile, our sister campuses stand ready to contribute their expertise in turbine design, blade materials, and other technology innovation areas. Deepwater Wind is to be commended for shaping and funding this initiative in a way that brings the best science, as well as diverse stakeholder perspectives, to the table.”
Topics of interest for the project include offshore wind siting, wind resource assessment, energy forecasting, supply chain development, and technological innovations, UMass Dartmouth said.
Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay