Thursday, October 27, 2016

Posted by October 3, 2016

Partnership Aims to Accelerate US Offshore Wind Ambitions

Another turbine is installed at the U.S.Block Island site in August 2016 (Photo: Business Network for Offshore Wind)

Another turbine is installed at the U.S.Block Island site in August 2016 (Photo: Business Network for Offshore Wind)

The U.K.-based Carbon Trust and the U.S.-based offshore wind supply chain organization Business Network for Offshore Wind have entered an agreement which will see them collaborate to support the development of the offshore wind sector in North America. To underpin this commitment the organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which details activities that the Carbon Trust and the Business Network for Offshore Wind will focus on over the next year to support and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind in the U.S.

Initial areas of interest will include offshore wind measurement and increasing understanding of met-ocean conditions to de-risk potential offshore wind farm sites in U.S waters.

The Business Network for Offshore Wind is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing an offshore wind supply chain, and helping ensure the economic value from this emerging technology market can be achieved domestically within the U.S. The Network is focused on delivering education, creating partnerships and advancing the industry. Since its formation in 2013, it has brought together hundreds of developers, global experts and member businesses to enable partnering and knowledge-sharing within the offshore wind industry. These opportunities inform critical business decision-making and encourage investment into the supply chain.

With the Carbon Trust, the Network now has technical experts to call upon. “Partnering with the Carbon Trust expands the technical capacity and expertise of the Network,” said Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Network. “We look forward to working with them to develop solutions for removing barriers, accelerate U.S. commercial scale offshore wind development, and to directly undertake R&D projects aimed at lowering the costs of offshore wind in the U.S.”

Jan Matthiesen, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust commented, “We are very pleased to announce the formalization of our relationship with The Business Network for Offshore Wind to support the development of the offshore wind industry in the U.S. This is a strong partnership, bringing together the Network’s local expertise with Carbon Trust’s strong track record of achieving cost reduction in offshore wind, which is well-timed to support the U.S.’s recently publicized National Offshore Wind Strategy.”

The Carbon Trust will bring over 15 years of technology and industry expertise from the European wind sector, currently the largest offshore wind market in the world. Most notably, learnings from the world-leading collaborative research, development and deployment program, the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), which has been reducing the cost of energy from offshore wind since 2008. Through the OWA, the Carbon Trust has created a proven framework, which enables competing developers to co-invest in a program of innovation that benefits the industry as a whole, working directly with innovators to bring cost cutting solutions to market.

The two firms believe offshore wind presents an enormous opportunity for the U.S. to develop a low carbon energy source, create employment opportunities and increase energy security. The offshore wind sector is expected to grow quickly over the next decade, boosted by a predicted $300 billion investment that will add an approximate 10GW to the nation’s current wind energy capacity. 

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