NREL investigates floating offshore wind potential in Hawaii

In: Windfarms
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)  is drafting a study that will model the costs and visualizations for floating offshore wind projects in marine regions around O‘ahu, Hawaii.

The study, funded by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is intended to inform stakeholders including the public, electric utilities, and regulatory agencies about the potential for floating offshore wind technology in Hawai‘i with a view to future leasing.

NREL will use the most up-to-date floating offshore wind technology information, cost model input assumptions for the unique Hawaiian market, and the Offshore Regional Cost Analyzer model to evaluate floating offshore wind costs for Hawaii on a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis. NREL will also produce informational graphics to visualize the current state of floating offshore wind technology. Offshore wind cost information generated by this study will be integrated into a data visualization tool.

The map shows the technical resource area within which NREL plans to compute the LCOE to provide geospatial diversity. The area includes Federal waters less than 1300 meters deep excluding marine sanctuaries.

NREL is currently welcoming input to inform its modelling including grid connections, ports, supply chains, wind resources, and hurricane considerations.

A draft report is to be made available in July and the final cost analysis report will be published in October 2021.

Future planning and analysis and leasing activities for offshore wind in federal waters offshore Hawaii will include collaboration with the state of Hawaii and engagement through the BOEM Hawaii Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force.

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is keen to assess the potential viability of floating offshore wind energy production off Oahu as one possible contributing technology to achieve 100% statewide renewable energy generation by 2045.

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