Floating Wind Farm Research Receives Boost from U.S., UK Leaders

U.S. and UK officials have announced plans to work together in developing floating wind turbine technology, an innovation that could open new areas of the world’s oceans to wind energy generation. In a collaboration announced in London, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and UK Energy Secretary Edward Davey said they would help fund research into floating platforms that would support turbines in waters as deep as 500 feet, where wind speeds are consistently higher than near-shore wind farm sites. Officials hope floating turbine technology will reduce the costs of offshore wind, avoiding expenses associated with building on seabed foundations and allowing turbine repairs to occur in port rather than on the water. “Floating wind turbines will allow us to exploit more of our wind resource, potentially more cheaply,” Davey said.