Energy Dept. To Fund $168 Million for Offshore Wind Projects

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The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Wednesday that seven offshore wind projects will receive funding, with plans for commercial operation of the projects in state and federal waters by 2017. Here are the details.

* In the initial phase, each of the seven projects will receive up to $4 million for engineering, design and permitting.

* Up to three of these projects will be selected for a follow-up phase to include siting, construction, installation and the goal of commercial operation by 2017. Projects selected for the next phase will receive up to $47 million each over four years, the Department of Energy stated. The funding is subject to congressional appropriations.

* Among the projects selected was Baryonyx Corporation's project in state waters near Port Isabel, Texas, that will test hurricane-resistant facility design, installation procedures and personal safety.

* Fishermen's Atlantic City Windfarm also received funding, in order to install up to six direct-drive turbines in state waters off the coast of Altantic City, N.J. The project seeks to mitigate potential environmental impacts through the use of an advanced bottom-mounted foundation design and seeks commercial operation by 2015.

* Other projects that will be funded will be installed in on Lake Erie, near Cleveland, Ohio; Coos Bay, Ore.; the Gulf of Maine off Boothbay Harbor; near Monhegan Island, Maine; and off the coast of Virginia Beach.

* In all, the funding for the seven Advanced Technology Demonstration projects will total $168 million over six years, the Department reported.

* The Department of Energy stated that its investment "will help speed the deployment of stronger, more efficient offshore wind power technologies and showcase innovative technologies -- helping to further lower costs and drive greater performance."

* Offshore wind represents 4,000 gigawatts of clean, domestic energy potential, the Department of Energy stated, four times the country's current total generation capacity.

* The Energy Department reports that the offshore wind industry could support up to 200,000 manufacturing, construction, operation and supply chain jobs by 2030.

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