The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.
Offshore wind turbines are located on bodies of water where there is access to stronger wind resources than are typically available on land. These turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind to electricity with no greenhouse gas emissions. Generally, these turbines are fixed directly to the sea floor, though technologies are being developed to mount turbines on floating platforms, which will enable deployment in deeper water or farther offshore. In general, because of the higher expense of foundations and installation compared to land-based wind turbines, offshore turbines are sized larger (3 MW to 5 MW, with even larger units in development), which enables greater output per turbine.