US to study Oregon project impacts

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking public comment through 28 July as it prepares an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze potential impacts of Principle Power’s proposed 30MW demonstration wind project off the coast of Oregon.

BOEM will also hold two public meetings in Coos Bay, Oregon on 17 June to solicit comments on the scope of the EA.

The proposed Wind Float Pacific Project is one of three offshore wind demonstration projects that will receive up to $47m each from the US Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its effort to lower costs and establish a domestic offshore wind industry.

Principle Power, which received an initial $4m from DOE for the project in December 2012, submitted an unsolicited request to BOEM for a commercial wind energy lease in May 2013.

Before Principle Power can install any facilities on the outer continental shelf, it must obtain BOEM approval. Principle Power will submit a plan to site its project within a 15 square-mile proposed lease area off the Oregon coast.

The project is designed to generate electricity from five floating “WindFloat” semi-submersible floating foundations, each equipped with a 6MW offshore wind turbine and moored to the seabed with multiple anchors. The turbines would be connected to a single electrical transmission cable running along the seafloor to shore.

The proposed facility, sited in about 1,400 feet of water, would be the first wind project in federal waters off the West Coast, and the first in the nation to use a floating structure to support offshore wind generation.