Oregon Offshore Wind Site Feasibility and Cost Study

Walter Musial, Philipp Beiter, Jacob Nunemaker, Donna Heimiller, Josh Ahmann, Jason Busch

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The work performed in this Oregon study assessed the present and future costs of floating offshore wind technology deployment in the state of Oregon at commercial scale. It is widely recognized that floating offshore wind energy technology will be needed if significant offshore wind deployment in the Pacific region is to occur. The study was performed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its subcontractors and funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). It was based, in part, on assumptions and analysis from an NREL report titled 'A Spatial-Economic Cost-Reduction Pathway Analysis for U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Development from 2015-2030' (Beiter et al. 2016), which supported the 'National Offshore Wind Strategy' (Gilman et al. 2016). The strategy builds on the previous DOE Wind Vision Study Scenario of 86 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind deployed by 2050 in the United States. Under the Wind Vision scenario, 20% (17.2 GW installed capacity) of the nation's total offshore wind in 2050 comes from the Pacific coastal states (DOE 2015), which will require the development of floating wind technologies. Although most offshore development to date has been in depths of 50 meters (m) or less, 97% of Oregon's offshore wind resource is in water depths greater than 60 m, where floating wind is assumed to be needed. Floating offshore wind technology is still in its nascent stage of development but is advancing toward commercialization in both Europe and Asia. In this report, we use available floating prototype costs, pilot-scale costs, and commercial-scale costs from fixed-bottom offshore wind projects to model and analyze the cost of floating wind for five hypothetical wind sites in Oregon using specific geographical and utility grid information.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages98
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This report is available from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management by referencingOCS Study BOEM 2019-046.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-74597


  • BOEM
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • floating
  • offshore wind
  • Oregon
  • wind energy


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