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US opens wallet to offshore, rural and 'tall' wind

Department of Energy earmarks $28m with eye on ‘significant opportunities’ for cost reductions

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has offered up some $28m to advance offshore, distributed and ‘tall’ wind across the lower 48 states.

With the country's utility-scale installed wind power fleet having grown to 90GW, the DOE said it was focusing the funding on the “significant opportunities” it believes exist remain in the industry.

Largest US wind project pushed back years but ‘still set for PTC’

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“Wind power is an important part of America’s energy strategy,” said US secretary of energy Rick Perry. “Research, development, and demonstration of innovative wind technologies can continue to drive down costs and expand the success that we’ve seen in the land-based utility-scale wind sector to the emerging distributed wind and offshore wind sectors.”

Among the areas to be funded are: offshore wind demonstration projects that will be online by 2025, for which $10m has been allocated, and cross-purposing existing national-level testing facilities for offshore wind technology, for which $7m has been set aside.

Some $6m will go to rural electric utilities and communities’ development of distributed wind integrated with other energy resources, for which $6m has been allocated; and $5m to advancing turbine towers of over 140-meters, which boost energy production by positioning rotors in higher speed wind-streams.

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