Principle Power gets $4M from DOE for offshore wind power in Coos Bay

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Principle Power of Seattle landed up to $4 million in federal funding to deploy floating offshore wind turbines near Coos Bay. The company's WindFloat technology is currently being tested off the coast of Portugal.
Courtesy Principle Power

Principle Power of Seattle landed up to $4 million in federal funding to deploy floating offshore wind turbines near Coos Bay. The company's WindFloat technology is currently being tested off the coast of Portugal. 

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Wednesday it will award up to $4 million to Princple Power to deploy an offshore wind power demonstration project off the Oregon Coast near Coos Bay.

The project is one of seven projects being funded by the department under its DOE Wind Program.

Seattle-based Principle Power plans to deploy five floating platforms that support 6-megwatt wind turbines. The project will be sited in deep water 10 to 15 miles offshore near Coos Bay. This first phase of funding covers the initial stages of engineering, design and permitting for the project.

The platforms, which are semi-submersible, will be assembled near the project site in Coos Bay. The Port of Coos Bay has been in talks regarding the project and officials said in April they were making plans to create a home for the project at the port.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will contribute to the project by leading and coordinating environmental assessments and evaluating the wind resources at the project site using computer modeling and Doppler technology. PNNL will take a $1.44 million share of the funding.

In May, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Kurt Schrader and Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a support letter to DOE saying wind power “has the potential to play a significant role as states pursue policies to increase the production of renewable energy and reduce carbon emission.”

The initial DOE funding will go toward a pilot demonstration of the offshore wind technology. The department will select up to three of the projects — the others are in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Virginia — for follow-on funding to move toward commercial operations by 2017. Those projects will recieve up to $47 million each over four years, subject to Congressional appropriations.

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