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US mulls Gulf of Mexico options

NREL analysing potential for renewables off region’s coast

US mulls Gulf of Mexico options image

The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is analysing the feasibility for offshore wind and other renewable technologies in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project, which is funded by the US government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will include site-specific economic analysis to determine which offshore wind locations offer the most promise for developers.

It will also involve a job analysis to estimate the economic impact of construction and turbine operations.

NREL will also aim to determine the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) for the Gulf by assessing variables such as water depth, wind resource and distance to port.

It said current scenarios show the LCoE may dip below $100 per megawatt hour by 2025 at some Gulf sites.

The research will also evaluate the feasibility of other renewable energy sources including wave and tidal, ocean current, ocean-based solar, ocean thermal and deepwater source cooling.

Image: a turbine at the US' first offshore wind farm at Block Island (Deepwater Wind)

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