November 29, 2015

Deep Water Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Showcased in Michigan

On August 15 Detroit-based Charles Nordstrom, P.E. of Glosten Associates Inc. (naval architects and marine engineers out of Seattle) presented the latest design and deployment plans for the Pelastar floating wind turbine system at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. Emphasizing the opportunity to locate near load demand, Nordstrom explained the system avoids the difficulties of offshore construction and assembly by allowing the floating platform to be build dockside, with tower, nacelle and blades attached by a land-based crane. The entire assembly is then floated to its location and tethered to the lake or sea bed. The first 6 MW demonstration project, supported by Alstom Wind, NREL, BP, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Caterpillar, and others is targeted for offshore at Cornwall, England, in late 2015. Cost of energy estimates for first generation offshore wind farms is $0.170 per kWh, and below $0.13 in the second generation design for 10 MW wind turbines. The floating platform must be in at least 50m of water depth, and can be deployed at up to 500m depth.

© 2015 Varnum LLP


About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Varnum Law Firm, Environmental Attorney

Bruce Goodman practices environmental law, energy law and construction law. His environmental expertise includes air quality permitting work, compliance counseling on air emissions, state and federal enforcement defense issues, and environmental management program development. His energy expertise includes negotiating numerous electric power sales agreements, both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy, state rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project permitting....

Matthew D. Zimmerman, Varnum Law Firm, Environmental Attorney

Matt is a member of the Environmental and Energy Practice Groups. A significant portion of Matt’s practice involves representation of municipalities and private developers in regard to water law matters, including: the permitting, operation and expansion of water supply/treatment/distribution systems and wastewater collection and treatment systems; sewer use ordinance drafting and enforcement including industrial pretreatment programs; stormwater management including ordinance drafting, permitting and enforcement and property owner representation in Drain Code projects; riparian rights issues; and submerged lands transactions. He represents both municipal and private clients in a wide variety of projects involving land use, including condemnation, permitting of development in protected natural resource areas (regulated wetlands, critical sand dunes, flood plains, etc.), solid waste management, zoning, brownfield redevelopment, and remediation of contaminated real estate. Matt also represents developers of energy products including both traditional and renewable energy projects, primarily regarding permitting and contracting.