ASME STS - October 15 2015 - "Offshore Renewable (Wind & Wave) Energy"
SPEAKER - Dale Williamson, Senior Sales Manager, Alston Power
With oceans covering 71% of the planet's surface, and close to 50% of the population living within 150 kilometers of a coast, there is growing interest in tapping the potential of tidal and off-shore wind energy to meet global renewable energy targets.
Tidal power with a global potential of up to 100 GW and the benefit of being predictable well into the future, is one major growth area. Alstom is currently developing an Oceade platform concept to reduce cost and maximize utilization of tidal stream resources according to local conditions. The platform includes a 1MW tidal stream turbine, currently installed and in testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, generating power on the Scottish grid. The second turbine in the platform is the Oceade 18 producing 1.4 MW, to be installed at Raz Blanchard pilot tidal farm off the northwest French coast; the project is slated to begin in 2017.
Offshore wind power is also growing worldwide, with over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy installed, another 4.7 GW under construction and an additional 30 GW approved. Offshore winds tend to blow harder and more uniformly than on land, allowing significantly increased output and higher capacity factors. The United States is late to the game; construction of the country's first offshore wind farm started in April located off of the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.
While the potential for utilizing ocean energy resources is significant, the challenges are equally real. The technology used in offshore environments must withstand the harsh environment of the ocean, including storm waves, hurricane-force winds, ice flows and corrosion. These requirements increase capital costs and make maintenance complex.
This discussion will explore both technical innovations in tidal turbines and off-shore wind turbine technology, as well as the commercial and policy issues which will be critical to success.
Dale Williamson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He has been with Alstom Power for almost 10 years and currently leads business development for the Alstom Haliade 150 in the North American Marketplace. He is responsible for the Deepwater Wind Block Island Project, the first offshore wind project in the United States, and for the Dominion Power VOWTAP project, likely the second offshore wind installation in the United States.
In his current position, Dale has responsibility for Business Development for Offshore Wind Turbines for the North American Market. He has a strong hands-on engineering background, before moving into business development and commercial roles.
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