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Scientists Provide Efficiency to the Expansion of Offshore Wind Energy

New Cornell research demonstrates how to make Offshore Wind farms more efficient in the face of impending rapid expansion – critical information as the United States Department of the Interior confirmed White House plans to lease federal waters for several massive arrays of wind turbines along the East Coast. This study was published in the journal Joule on October 20th.

“Massive upscaling of Offshore Wind turbine installations is crucial to meeting global and national targets to decarbonize the energy supply,” said Sara C. Pryor, professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.”Because of its excellent wind resource and proximity to large markets along the East Coast, it is the focus of America’s first-phase, Offshore Wind projects, where thousands of physically larger and higher capacity wind turbines will be deployed over large areas (about 1.7 million acres of combined water) on an unprecedented scale,” Pryor said.

Scientists Provide Efficiency to the Expansion of Offshore Wind EnergyOn October 13, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland revealed the road ahead for Offshore Wind leasing agreements in order to reach the White House-stated target of deploying 30 gigawatts of East Coast energy by 2030 – enough to power 90 million households.According to the NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), there are presently five projects in active development in New York State. By 2035, the state hopes to have 9,000 megawatts of offshore capacity. The existing offshore projects total over 4,300 megawatts, which is enough to power nearly 2 million households.

While the upcoming government fast growth of offshore turbine deployments gives an opportunity to minimize human-caused climate change, Pryor said, it also creates obstacles in determining how to strategically position Offshore Wind to effectively accomplish electricity-generation goals.

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