National Renewable Energy Laboratory Researcher Discusses Floating Wind Technology

Aug. 21, 2018

The Atlantic recently posted an episode of its podcast The Future According to Now that features National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Manager of Offshore Wind and Ocean Power Systems, Walt Musial. The segment explores a landscape for groundbreaking wind innovations: the deep sea. "It's a big deal because floating technology is just starting to come around, so it's really the next phase of wind energy development and may be the end game for wind energy," Musial explained in the episode's introduction.

Later in the episode, Musial discusses what's next for capturing wind energy off both U.S. coasts, including the fact that investors are already leasing ocean land from federal and state authorities. The waters off the East Coast are shallow enough for fixed turbines, but in the Pacific Ocean, the continental shelf drops off too quickly and floating technology is needed. "We're looking almost exclusively in the Pacific at deep water," Musial said, adding, "58% of the resources that are viable for technology development offshore in the United States are in deep water where floating technology will have to be developed."