The first offshore wind energy turbine in the US will be installed off the Texas coast by the end of the year.

The 2.75-MW turbine is being installed near Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a precursor to the 300-MW Galveston Wind Project and the development of 3500 acres (1,416.4 hectares) already leased for Texas offshore wind operations.

According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the US has the potential to generate over 4,150 GW of energy from offshore wind, which would fulfill four times the current energy demand through wind energy.

“Texas has many favorable conditions, such as its own transmission network and plant sites in a 10 mile zone off of its coast,” said Jan Wiedemann, managing director of the German American Chamber of Commerce in Houston (Texas). “This area is governed by Texas state laws, making it unlike any other US state since it does not need the approval of the US Department of the Interior.

“This creates many opportunities for entering the ever growing wind industry The NREL also projects that Texas has the potential to generate 1.06 GW of energy within this 10 mile zone (25.9 square kilometer),” he added.

Not coincidentally, Houston is about to host the first-ever Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable. The conference, and an affiliated forum on offshore wind law will be held 19-22 October. The four-day conference will evaluate the potential of Texas’s offshore wind energy market and address the expected wind energy boom in the Gulf of Mexico. E.ON Climate & Renewables Europe, SIEMENS, Hochtief, Vestas, Thales and Siag, have all confirmed their participation.

Featured speakers will include Michael Lewis, managing director of E.ON Climate and Renewables Europe, who will speak about their experiences as a European offshore wind energy supplier, and William Keating, general manager sales North America of Vestas Offshore, who will speak on state-of-the-art technological capabilities and experiences in offshore wind from the perspective of a turbine manufacturer.

Source: 321 Energy.