Eight offshore wind energy and ocean energy research projects have been approved by the federal government, and a grant of $5 million has been set aside for this purpose. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the DOE (Department of Energy), the BOEMRE (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) have provided the funds for this project.
According to the DOE, research would throw light on the impact of renewable energy developments on the ocean environment. It would also reduce the worries and doubts that accompany offshore wind energy and marine projects, and give information that would help the development and implementation of clean energy missions on the Sea.
Steven Chu, U.S. energy Secretary remarked that both enhancement of energy security and creation of jobs would be possible by developing partnership ties among federal agencies to restructure or update the implementation of offshore renewable projects.
The research would also incorporate effort to aid renewable energy producers to evaluate suitable sites and settings for generation projects, studies of the effect on wildlife from the offshore clean energy projects, and definition of protocols for environmental studies required for the development of renewable energy projects.
Parametrix, a Washington State organization, will utilize almost $500,000 for a project with a time period of two years for creating statistical techniques to be used in the evaluation of prospective locations for offshore clean energy developments. Fayetteville’s University of Arkansas Centre for Advanced Spatial Technologies would be granted $497,000 for a three-year project to craft a system to facilitate renewable energy producers to gauge the visual impact of their facilities. About $748,000 would be given to the University of Massachusetts’ Marine Renewable Energy Centre for creating a technology roadmap displaying the options available for clean energy developers to evaluate and observe resources in a location in advance, and also after the project completion.
Nearly $745,000 is being provided to the University of Rhode Island for developing standard protocols for studies required for preparation for offshore energy projects. This two year project will give knowledge about assessments of impacts from renewable energy projects. Pacific Energy Ventures based in Oregon was awarded $499,000 for a two year project on developing protocols for gathering and comparison of data regarding the environment.
Seattle’s University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Scientists were given $746,000 for investigation into the wildlife in and around a hydrokinetic site located in Admiralty Inlet in Washington. Bioacoustics Research Program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, would receive $499,000 for an investigation on the impact of construction and operation sounds, on the resident and migratory marine vertebrates. Finally, the geologists at the University of Texas have been selected for funding a three-year project to decide on the best practice advice for the storage of offshore carbon discharges, through underground sequestration equipment.
According to NOAA’s Administrator and Commerce Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, Jane Lubchenco, the Ocean has innumerable clean energy opportunities waiting for discovery, and these grants would go a long way in understanding and implementing mitigation measures from the inception.