DOE sets course for offshore wind's integration with national grid

In a move to fortify the U.S. power supply, the Department of Energy outlines a strategy for connecting offshore wind farms to the country's electric grid.

Heather Richards reports for E&E News.


In short:

  • The Department of Energy's report suggests building vast power lines across the Atlantic to enhance the connection between offshore wind farms and onshore grids, aiming to alleviate grid congestion and improve reliability.
  • This integrated network could facilitate electricity flow to high-demand areas, potentially reducing consumer costs by optimizing between regions with different electricity prices.
  • The report highlights the need for standardizing high-voltage direct current technology across offshore wind projects to ensure compatibility and efficiency.

Key quote:

"Offshore wind energy is already powering more than one hundred thousand homes along the East Coast, with the potential to grow and further enhance grid reliability and reduce even more fossil fuels."

— Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy

Why this matters:

The appeal of offshore wind energy lies in its massive potential to generate significant amounts of electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. For countries with limited land or those looking to diversify their energy mix, offshore wind farms represent an attractive solution. They can be located far enough offshore to reduce visual and noise impacts while still being connected to land-based power grids. In 2017, even the Trump administration seemed to believe in the potential of offshore wind energy.

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