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Alstom Shares Lessons in Offshore Wind with Southeastern States

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Last week, the head of Alstoms global offshore wind technology platform joined representatives from the American wind power industry to discuss the latest technologies, policies and developments related to offshore and onshore wind projects in the Southeastern United States. The two day Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference held on 11-12 September focused on the potential wind energy development throughout the region, with particular emphasis on offshore wind opportunities along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Florida.

Key themes showcased during the event included:

  • Permitting and regulatory issues
  • Existing supply chain and infrastructure in the region
  • Environmental policies
  • Lessons from European projects
  • Manufacturing and job creation

Alstoms Global Perspective                                             

While the conference highlighted the wind industry in the southeastern U.S., speakers also talked about European projects, such as Frances current effort to build 1.4GW of offshore wind generation, as for a model for offshore wind development. Alstom Winds very own Daniel Castell, Offshore Platform Director, was a featured keynote speaker who cited the key elements and best practices from European projects that are crucial to developing the offshore wind industry in the U.S. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration, said Mr. Castell.  Obviously you need the equipment and transmission infrastructure but other factors such as industrial setup, supply chain, port infrastructure, and a strong deployment roadmap are critical to ensuring projects are economically sustainable.  Daniel went on to discuss how the long-term collaboration between partners is essential to overcoming the economic and environmental hurdles that are inherent to offshore wind development.

Offshore wind in the U.S. Moving forward

Superior wind resources, easy access to load centers and shallow waters make the southeastern coast a prime location for the development of wind farms.  Thats why Alstom and partners like Dominion Virginia Power, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),  are completing the Front End Feasibility and Design (FEED) stages for an offshore wind demonstration project in the state of Virginia, the first of its kind in the U.S. This project, which would feature two Alstom Haliade 150 6MW offshore turbines, was a major topic of discussion during the conference. Representatives from Dominion Power highlighted the importance of Alstoms role in the project, citing the companys global expertise and the intellectual capital brought to the project. Speakers from EDF referenced close industry partnerships, like the French Tender, as vital in bringing the U.S. closer to the reality of offshore wind. During a panel session on the potential for offshore wind in the southeast, representatives from AWS Truepower, LLC. once again cited the companys advanced Haliade 150 wind turbine and that its high yield capability make it an ideal turbine for use along Americas eastern coast.

Learn more about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition

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