Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ocean Engineering Part of Offshore Wind Industry Plan

Nice article on offshore wind. It specifically mentions Ocean Engineering at URI.
In Rhode Island, four factors are behind the state’s pursuit of offshore wind power, Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, said at the 4th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit. He cited the Ocean State’s abundant near shore offshore wind potential and the possibility of large-scale regional development, namely 1,000 MW of power that could be developed in 2,700 square miles of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and federal waters.

Stokes said also that Rhode Island already has much of the onshore infrastructure it needs to support the industry. In the last 15 years, and especially in the last three, the state has used federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants and other sources to upgrade cranes, docks and other port facilities needed for offshore turbine installation. Some $4.5 million per year is available through the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund to mitigate short-term costs and stimulate direct capital investment in wind farms.

Finally, the University of Rhode Island is primed to provide ocean engineering graduates to wind power companies. The state also supports labor programs that offer renewable energy training. Combined, all four factors support Rhode Island’s goal of being “first in the water” with an offshore wind turbine, Stokes said.

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