NREL

Offshore Wind Energy Resource Assessment for Alaska

Source/Sponsor: 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Creator/Author: 
Paula Doubrawa, George Scott, Walt Musial, Levi Kilcher, Caroline Draxl, and Eric Lantz
Description: 

This report quantifies Alaska’s offshore wind resource capacity while focusing on its unique nature. It is a supplement to the existing U.S. Offshore Wind Resource Assessment, which evaluated the offshore wind resource for all other U.S. states (Musial et al. 2016). Together, these reports provide the foundation for the nation’s offshore wind value proposition. Both studies were developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The analysis presented herein represents the first quantitative evidence of the offshore wind energy potential of Alaska. 

The net energy potential for Alaska is estimated to be 12,087 TWh/year, which is substantially higher than the statewide electricity consumption of approximately 6 TWh/year and higher than the total U.S. consumption of 3,711 TWh/year (U.S. EIA 2017c).

pdf
Publication Date: 
Sunday, December 31, 2017
4 MB
Resource Type: 
Document

An Assessment of the Economic Potential of Offshore Wind in the U.S. from 2015 to 2030

Source/Sponsor: 
U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Creator/Author: 
Philipp Bieter, Walter Musial, Levi Kilcher, Michael Maness, and Aaron Smith
Description: 
This study describes an assessment of the site-specific variation of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and levelized avoided cost of energy (LACE) to understand the economic potential of fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind technologies in major U.S. coastal areas between 2015 and 2030.
 
LCOE alone is not sufficient to assess economic viability because it does not capture the electric system value that can be attributed to a generation source. Therefore, this analysis draws on a “simplified” version of LACE as a metric to capture the system value of a generation technology.
 
LACE varies by location because of differences in the system value of new electricity, which is determined by a range of factors, including the cost of competing generation technologies, the resource mix, demand patterns, and transmission constraints. The difference between LCOE and LACE at a given location (denoted in this report by “net value”) can help inform an initial understanding of the economic potential of a new offshore wind project at a high geospatial resolution.
 
Some general observations include:
  • Offshore wind sites with economic potential are located predominantly in the Northeast and eastern shore of Virginia
  • Across all regions, the number of sites with a positive net value (or a value close to a positive net value) increase over the time period considered
  • State policies have driven offshore wind development recently (e.g., in New York and Massachusetts); these policies may play a key role when assessing the economic viability of offshore wind but are not considered in this analysis
  • Further technology improvements are needed to achieve the cost reductions of this assessment
  • Some regions will likely require unique technology solutions (e.g., to address low wind speeds in the Gulf, icing in Great Lakes, and deep-water floating solutions in the Pacific and Hawaii)
  • The value of offshore wind to the electric grid system under some high-penetration renewable energy scenarios may not be fully represented by net value as calculated in this study. 
 
 
pdf
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
6 MB
Resource Type: 
Document
Multi-State:
Subscribe to RSS - NREL