ABB, AWS, Others Contributing to DOE Offshore Study Examining Sites

Led by ABB, the contributing organizations — which include business, government and academia — will investigate important technical and economic questions about the integration of offshore wind energy through a range of transmission technologies.

The “National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study” will be developed by experts from five influential energy, manufacturing, consulting, utility and research organizations: ABB, AWS Truepower, Duke Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the University of Pittsburgh.

The team will determine the expected staging of offshore wind development in each of the coastal regions, develop expected wind generation production profiles, assess the applicability of integration study methods to offshore wind production, assess a variety of offshore wind collection and delivery technologies, and consider regulatory issues that may influence the selection of technologies or the implementation of systems. Additionally, the study will provide the technical and economic viability data necessary to produce a roadmap to the DOE’s “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030” wind goals for the U.S.

ABB will oversee the project, with its main technical contribution being to assess the collection and delivery technologies, including collector system alternatives, delivery system alternatives, marine substation design and hardware and undersea cabling and installation technologies.

The AWS Truepower contribution will include formulation of offshore wind development staging, offshore wind generation production profile simulation, and an analysis of wind generation ramp frequencies between the offshore and onshore wind projects. Duke Energy Business Services will assist ABB by providing transmission consulting services and regulatory policy support. Duke Energy will collaborate with its research partners to stage national offshore wind modelling in a way that seeks to address potential use-conflicts with military, commercial and recreational fishing, environmental and other important interests.

The University of Pittsburgh will focus on examining traditional and advanced electric power delivery options. To access the most effective integration of offshore wind into onshore networks, Pitt researchers will look at state-of-the-art power electronics-based transmission technologies, integrating AC and DC power converters, and undersea cable systems.

Carl Levesque is the communications editor at AWEA. This article first appeared in the AWEA Windletter and was reprinted with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.

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Carl is Editor & Publications Manager at the American Wind Energy Association, where has worked since 2006. At AWEA he oversees AWEA's online and print publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, Windpower Update, and other products. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans teaching as well as working with homeless youth.

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