Offshore wind energy is gaining momentum in the USMay 14, 2015
Offshore wind is finally becoming a reality in the United States
Offshore wind energy has become quite popular in Europe, where several countries are looking to distance themselves from fossil-fuels and embrace renewable energy. In the United States, however, offshore wind projects have yet to become a reality. This will be changing with the completion of the Block Island Wind Farm, which is set to begin construction off the coast of Rhode Island in July of this year. Once completed, it will be the first offshore wind system in the United States and be a major boon for the country’s energy structure.
New wind project may have the ability to generate 4% of the United States’ electricity
The Block Island Wind Farm, once completed, is expected to generate approximately 4% of the country’s electricity. It may also set the foundation for other wind projects to take form in the country, where renewable energy is becoming more important. There had been concerns about whether or not the project would manage to become a reality due to the costs associated with developing offshore wind energy systems, but these concerns are slowly fading away.
Block Island Wind Farm expected to begin producing energy in 2016
The foundations that will support the project’s wind turbines are currently being fabricated. Deep Water Wind, which is responsible for the Block Island Wind Farm, expected to install these foundations at some point in July. The permits needed for the project to begin construction, as well as the permits needed to authorize its supply of electricity, have already been issued. The wind energy project is expected to begin generating electrical power in 2016.
Lack of government support casts some doubt on the wind energy sector
Wind energy had received significant support from the U.S. government in the past through the Production Tax Credit. This financial incentive had been designed to support the development of new wind projects, but was allowed to expire. Without financial support from the federal government, investors have shown some doubt over the future of various projects, especially those involving offshore wind turbine.
Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power
Off-shore wind-turbines generate electricity, as we all know. Now I’ll explain how off-shore solar and hydrogen can power our electricity too.
Solar at sea is easy. Simply mount photovoltaic panels on platforms isolated on their own or in the wide-open spaces between the off-shore wind turbines. Mount PV-panels high and dry but be sure to mount them below the height of the rotors of the wind turbines so as not to interfere with the wind flow.
Deep Sea Hydrogen Storage
Floating platforms can generate electricity from wind, sun or hydrogen gas, which can be stored in inflatable gas bags in deep sea water.
The diagram shows how hydrogen gas can be used to store energy from renewable-energy platforms floating at sea by sending any surplus wind and solar electrical power down a sub-sea cable to power underwater high-pressure electrolysis to make compressed hydrogen to store in underwater inflatable gas-bags.
Later, when there is a lull in the wind or when it is dark, the hydrogen can be piped from the gas-bag up to the platform on the surface to fuel gas-fired turbine generators or hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity on-demand in all weather conditions.