Thursday, January 26 2023 Sign In   |    Register
 

News Quick Search


 

News


Front Page
Power News
Today's News
Yesterday's News
Week of Jan 23
Week of Jan 16
Week of Jan 09
Week of Jan 02
Week of Dec 26
By Topic
By News Partner
Gas News
News Customization
Feedback

 

Pro Plus(+)


Add on products to your professional subscription.
  • Energy Archive News
  •  



    Home > News > Power News > News Article

    Share by Email E-mail Printer Friendly Print

    With 3 wind leases in hand, federal government eyes floating turbines off NC coast


    November 27, 2022 - Adam Wagner, The Charlotte Observer

     

      The federal agency tasked with developing offshore wind energy wants feedback on two newly proposed lease areas off North Carolina, including one that would require floating turbines.

      The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposed eight sections of the Atlantic Ocean for development between Delaware and North Carolina. Off North Carolina, that includes 327.74 square miles northeast of the existing Kitty Hawk lease, an area that straddles the state line with Virginia.

      And then there’s a 65.7-square-mile area that sits 76.5 miles off the Outer Banks in water with depths of about 1.5 miles. Along with a draft area off Maryland, that represents the first wind energy area on the East Coast that would need floating wind turbines instead of turbines anchored to the ocean floor.

      Considering the increased cost and difficulty of developing the floating sites, it’s important to focus attention on the sites that are closer to shore, said Katharine Kollins, president of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. Places like California and Hawaii that have higher electricity costs are likely to see floating wind farms before the East Coast, Kollins added.

      “There may be a world where that floating technology is less costly, but I haven’t seen any reports where that happens in the next 10 to 20 years,” Kollins said. “I think for now we focus on the shallow water development.”

      Floating wind turbines cost $160 per megawatt hour to develop, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with prices expected to drop by 2030 to somewhere between $60 and $105 per megawatt hour.

      By comparison, turbines that are fixed to the ocean floor cost $96 per megawatt hour, with prices expected to reach $56 per megawatt hour by 2030.

      “Even in the best case scenarios, fixed bottom is expected to be cheaper. And on the East Coast, because we have access to fixed bottom, it makes sense to look there first,” Kollins said.

      BOEM has already issued three leases for offshore wind off North Carolina’s coast. In 2017, Avangrid won the rights to develop a 191-square-mile area about 27 miles off the Outer Banks. Earlier this year, Duke Energy Renewables Wind and TotalEnergies Renewables USA won the rights to a pair of areas about 20 miles off the Brunswick County coast.

      The depths and distance from shore will likely mean the areas identified for floating turbines can’t be developed by 2035, BOEM said in a notice requesting comment. But the agency wants feedback from the industry about whether the areas are viable from an economic or a technological standpoint.

      Even if development is far off, it’s important that BOEM is identifying areas for floating turbines on the East Coast, said John Begala, the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s vice president for state and federal policy.

      “Floating wind represents a national opportunity here. It’s still a relatively nascent technology around the world, meaning it’s an opportunity for the U.S. to catch up to or perhaps surpass our global competitors,” Begala said.

      Federal and state leaders have pushed for offshore wind, with the Biden administration setting a goal of 30 gigawatts of energy generated nationally by 2030 and N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper setting state targets of 2.8 gigawatts by 2030 and 8 gigawatts by 2040.

      Based on the feedback it receives, BOEM could still remove parts of the proposed lease areas.

      BOEM Director Amanda Lefton wrote, “We want to gather as much information and traditional knowledge as possible to help us identify Wind Energy Areas — the offshore areas that are most suitable for commercial wind energy activities while having the fewest apparent environmental and user conflicts.”

      BOEM is accepting public comment on the proposed wind energy areas until Dec. 16. The agency will hold virtual meetings with fishermen and environmental groups next week.

      This story was produced with financial support from 1Earth Fund, in partnership with Journalism Funding Partners, as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.

      ©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

    TOP

    Other Articles - Utility Business / General


    TOP

       Home  -  Feedback  -  Contact Us  -  Safe Sender  -  About Energy Central   
    Copyright © 1996-2023 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Energy Central® and Energy Central Professional® are registered trademarks of CyberTech, Incorporated. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes. CyberTech does not warrant that the information or services of Energy Central will meet any specific requirements; nor will it be error free or uninterrupted; nor shall CyberTech be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages (including lost data, information or profits) sustained or incurred in connection with the use of, operation of, or inability to use Energy Central. Other terms of use may apply. Membership information is confidential and subject to our privacy agreement.