DOE announces $13.5 m for sustainable development of offshore wind

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $13.5 million in funding to provide critical environmental and wildlife data to support offshore wind development.

DOE announces $13.5 m for sustainable development of offshore wind
Photo: DOE

In support of a joint interagency goal to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, DOE is funding four projects that will inform offshore wind siting, permitting and help protect wildlife and fisheries as offshore wind deployment increases. This latest funding announcement aligns with President Biden's agenda to catalyze offshore wind energy, strengthen the domestic supply chain, and create good-paying, union jobs. 

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said:

"Harnessing the incredible potential that exists within offshore wind energy is an essential piece of reaching a net-zero carbon future. In order for Americans living in coastal areas to see the benefits of offshore wind, we must ensure that it's done with care for the surrounding ecosystem by co-existing with fisheries and marine life – and that's exactly what this investment will do."

Increased deployment of offshore wind means more clean energy on the grid—which can contribute significantly to the Biden Administration’s goals of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035 and a net-zero emission economy by 2050. While wind energy will provide significant national economic and environmental benefits, its development and operation may have impacts on the environment and wildlife that need to be assessed.  

Two selected projects will support wildlife and fisheries monitoring efforts on the East Coast. The other two projects are focused on preparing the West Coast for floating offshore wind development by collecting wildlife distribution data and developing tools to monitor the environmental effects of floating offshore wind energy. 

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (MA) said:

“These grants will help ensure that our clean energy transition in Massachusetts and along the East Coast works hand-in-hand with maintaining the biodiversity of our waters and understanding the relationship between wind and commercial fisheries.” 

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (OR), author of the Clean Energy for America Act said:

“Offshore wind presents a key piece of a greener future, and I’m thrilled that OSU has earned this federal investment to apply its top-notch research in Newport to this clean energy source. I’m glad the Energy Department has recognized Oregon State can provide the research and data to ensure the development of this clean and sustainable energy source doesn’t hurt our state’s world-renowned coastal fisheries and wildlife.” 

U.S. Representative David Price (NC-4) said:

“I am pleased that Duke University will receive $7.5 million from the Department of Energy to expand ongoing research into offshore wind and its impact on the environment and wildlife. Offshore wind has the potential to create substantial economic and environmental benefits, and this research will ensure we are properly assessing and mitigating possible effects of development and production on the surrounding environment. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for robust federal funding towards research that enables a more environmentally sustainable future.”