Texas to fund offshore wind research

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) is awarding $2.2m to the Texas A&M University Wind Energy Center for a collaborative project that brings together researchers from four universities in the state to develop and market offshore wind energy technology.

"Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, generating more wind power than all but five nations. This investment will support an important collaboration between our universities and the growth of our offshore wind capabilities," says Governor Rick Perry.

The TETF award will support development of new offshore wind farms, turbine and platform technologies in conjunction with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project.

The state's award will be matched by an initial $13.3m investment from industry members of the GoWind consortium, which has proposed an 18MW demonstration wind project off the coast of South Padre Island, and a $1m investment from the participating universities.

GoWind developer Baryonyx was among seven pilot offshore wind project developers that won early stage DOE grants for initial development of their technologies. In mid-May, DOE will select two or three for $46.6m each in follow-on funding that will allow the winners to demonstrate the technologies at commercial scale in 2017.

The other universities are Texas Tech University; University of Texas at Austin; Texas A & M University - Corpus Christi and University of Texas at Brownsville.

TETF is a $200m initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized four times since then. Funds are used to promote early stage companies and research.