The bill, HR 3375, was introduced by Representative David Brock Smith and seeks to establish a 3-GW goal in federal waters off the Oregon coast. It also seeks to establish a task force on floating offshore wind.
HR 3375 also requires that the task force put together a floating offshore wind strategic plan and submit that plan to interim committees of the legislative assembly related to energy no later than 15 September 2022.
A 2019 study published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that floating wind off Oregon was a ‘promising’ potential source of clean energy for the state.
The study, Oregon Offshore Wind Site Feasibility and Cost Study, said floating wind would be required off Oregon because 97% of the 62 GW of available technical offshore wind energy resource in Oregon is in water depths greater than 60 m.
The study noted that although floating offshore wind energy is still in a ‘nascent’ stage of development, it is advancing toward commercialisation in both Europe and Asia.
“Overall, the prospects for offshore wind in Oregon look promising for large-scale electricity generation,” the authors of the report said. “Floating technology is maturing rapidly, and offshore wind can provide a carbon-free alternative electricity source in coastal regions.”
The authors of the report said there will also be significant challenges for offshore wind to overcome in Oregon, including optimization of floating technology, coexistence with the fishing industry, mitigating impacts to wildlife and the viewshed, and integrating with the existing land-based grid.