How Hawaii Could Finally Make Floating Wind Farms A Reality

Emilio Cogliani

The picturesque waters of Hawaii could soon be home to the country’s first floating wind farm.

During the Hawaii Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting earlier this month, government and industry agencies discussed two proposals to build more than 100 turbines off the island of Oahu.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, received the two unsolicited proposals in January from AW Hawaii Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of Denmark-based Alpha Wind Energy. They call for one farm 12 miles off Oahu’s north shore and another in waters 17 miles south of Waikiki, a project totaling $1.6 billion.

Although there are currently no operational wind farms in the U.S., floating wind farms have been running in Europe since 1991, starting with Denmark, which now receives 40 percent of its power from wind.

In the U.S. this year, the Department of Energy granted $47 million each to pilot…

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