Seattle Firm Wins Grant To Build Offshore Wind Platform

Dec 13, 2012

Seattle company Principle Power wants to take turbines out to sea. The feds today awarded the company 4 million dollars to design an offshore wind power facility. It would be anchored off the Oregon coast near Coos Bay. Amelia Templeton reports.

When you think about it, it’s odd nobody’s tried to build an offshore wind farm in the Northwest already.

That’s the sound of a wind storm hitting Coos Bay last week.

Brian Polagye is with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. So far, he says, most offshore wind turbines have been installed on pilings in shallow water off the coast of Europe. Renewable energy companies had to come up with a new design for the Northwest. The coastal waters here are too deep for pilings.

Polagye: “The real ingenuity is having a stable floating platform to attach the turbine tower and the cell to.”

Principle Power has won federal funding to move forward with the Northwest’s first test project. It would install five jumbo turbines on floating platforms about 15 miles off the Oregon coast.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio