Moving Toward Cost-Competitive, Commercial Floating Wind Energy

Research output: NRELPresentation


This presentation, delivered at the US Offshore Wind 2018 conference in Boston, puts forth three keys points regarding the advancement of floating offshore wind energy technology. First, the complex physics, economics, and logistics of an offshore floating wind plant make the engineering approach well suited to a system-focused solution to maximize performance and minimize cost. This approach involves the assembly of a computational framework that accounts for all the major engineering elements and the entire plant balance sheet, but it does not replace or minimize the value of experience. Second, several system-friendly technologies and design practices are already in development or in the scientific literature; a selection of these technologies and design practices are briefly discussed. Finally, advocating for an integrated systems approach to floating offshore wind energy is a little academic when the market and industry realities are such that different companies own different components that comprise the larger system. The industry may have to evolve to offer vertically integrated, whole-system products, perhaps evolving to resemble the aerospace industry with prime contractors. This may seem like a difficult transition, but the U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories can help develop and transfer technology to lower the risk involved.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition 2018, 7-8 June 2018, Boston, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-71659


  • floating technology
  • floating wind energy
  • MDAO
  • Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization
  • offshore
  • turbine
  • water
  • wave
  • wave energy converter
  • WEC


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