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ARPA-E announces $26M for 13 projects to develop novel technologies for floating offshore wind

ARPA-E announced $26 million in funding for 13 projects as part of the Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program. These teams will develop new technologies for floating, offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) using the discipline of control co-design (CCD).


The ATLANTIS program focuses on three technology development areas to develop FOWT systems: 1) New Designs, 2) Computer Tools, and 3) Experiments. The selections contained within the ATLANTIS program fall into at least one of these three areas, and teams are encouraged to collaborate with other awardees over the lifecycle of their funding to work towards designing a fully integrated FOWT incorporating all three areas into one system.

Accessible offshore wind is estimated at more than 25 quadrillion BTUs per year, with more than half of that generation blowing across water too deep to be economically accessible with current offshore wind turbine design. The FOWT designs in these ATLANTIS projects could enable access to those unutilized wind resources, enabling greater production and market share access in offshore wind energy.



They’re talking about 200 feet of water. Just deep enough to allow divers build the anchoring system. I can’t imagine the size of the anchoring chains/cables that would be needed to hold one of these turbine towers in place while rock and rolling in a hurricane.

I hope they also incorporate HVDC technology (High Voltage Direct Current) for transmission to land. That allows for smaller or longer electrical cables over AC systems to open larger potential areas to these devices. Also if it comes ashore as HVDC it can go straight into an HVDC transmission grid to distribute power far inland with little losses. That allows for regional weather differences to fill in for lulls in renewables that occur onshore and reduce the need for energy storage.

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