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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been awarded US$ 5.7 million in new funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for work in the field of floating offshore wind turbines.
NREL was named prime contractor for three projects within ARPA-E’s Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program. NREL researchers will be working on:
  • Developing an open-source software tool, called Wind Energy with Integrated Servo-control (WEIS), to enable control co-design optimization of FOWTs. ARPA-E awarded NREL US$ 2,708,864 for the project. NREL is partnering with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on this project.
  • Generating data for FOWT loads, motion, and performance as they develop the Floating Offshore-wind and Controls Advanced Laboratory (FOCAL). The award came with US$ 1,529,923 in funding, which is meant to generate the first public FOWT scale-model dataset to include advanced turbine and hull controls, and hull flexibility. NREL is partnering with the University of Maine and DNV GL on this project.
  • Unlocking the floating offshore wind market by lowering the cost of energy below the 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour generated by fixed-bottom offshore wind plants. The project, dubbed USFLOWT for Ultraflexible Smart FLoating Offshore Wind Turbine, comes with US$ 1,500,000 in funding. NREL is partnering with the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado University at Boulder, University of Virginia, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the American Bureau of Shipping.
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