The official go-ahead has been given for a Seattle company, Principle Power, to plan a 30-megawatt offshore floating wind farm off the coast of Oregon.
The wind power company is planning for five floating wind turbines in a location 15 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon, Climate Progress has reported. Plans for the offshore wind project will be submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for an environmental analysis, and public comments will also be invited. The final decision on the project will be made after that.
In a statement about the project, the U.S. Department of the Interior noted that innovative offshore wind turbine technology holds “great promise along the West Coast and Hawaii”. However, the West Coast’s narrow continental shelf drops off more steeply than it does over on the East Coast of the U.S., so floating wind turbines cannot be anchored to the seafloor like they can off the East Coast; innovative solutions are required. Principle Power has received $4 million in funding from the Department of Energy, and could receive more as the project moves forward.
If it goes into the construction phase, this project will be the first offshore wind farm on the West Coast. There are a couple of offshore wind farms in development off the East Coast; both are yet to be completed.