Pacific Northwest
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OR - Wind Power off Oregon Coast Could Provide More than Electricity

Winds blowing off the Oregon Coast are some of the strongest in the nation, offshore or on land. They hold significant energy potential.

Wind researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are now assessing offshore wind’s ability to provide value-beyond just the electricity that could be produced-to the power system in Oregon and parts of other western states.

Offshore wind power is in its infancy in the United States with just two systems off the Eastern Seaboard. There are not any deployed yet off the West Coast, due in part to challenges associated with the deeper waters of the Pacific Ocean, which will require floating, tethered installations, and addressing questions about impacts to sea life and birds.

Even so, PNNL researchers say it’s not too soon to plan if we want to optimize wind energy locations and strategies to bring value to the grid in addition to the electricity they will produce.

“We advocate for a different approach that goes beyond just looking at wind potential and the cheapest cost of energy on a project basis,” said Travis Douville, project manager at PNNL.

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