The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has recently introduced an offshore wind turbine design having an open-source model with a 15MW nameplate capacity, meant for both floating and fixed-bottom applications.

IEA 15-MW, a shorthand for the International Energy Agency’s 15-MW reference turbine, available on GitHub, played an invaluable role in coordinating the research collaboration.

The Partners were quoted saying that the reference wind turbine (RWT) helps in assessing the cost and performance of modification before prototype development. Apparently, the RWT will be apt for several software tools and is set to offer academics, researchers, and industry with public domain equipment for designing the next-gen offshore wind turbines.

It is believed that IEA’s 15MW configuration has more to offer than the 10-12MW offshore turbines in development by the industry. It is also claimed that the 10-12MW may serve as a catalyst for 15-20MW next-gen designs.

Allegedly, a host of project proposals and projects are embracing reference turbine as Gaertner claimed that the turbine is being used to assess floating support structure design and lightweight generators, and to make comparisons of wind turbine software tool.

While NREL designed the generator, rotor, drivetrain, monopile, tower, controller and nacelle, it joined hands with the University of Maine (UMaine) and the Technological University of Denmark (DTU). DTU is said to have reviewed the design and offered a piece of advice in undertaking load analysis and working on public domain models for their simulation toolsets. Notably, UMaine is also believed to have designed the semisubmersible loading substructure.

Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has asserted that the development pipeline of the U.S. clearly surpassed 26GW in December last year, and they have merely a single 30MW offshore wind farm in commercial operation.

Provided BOEM complies with the current permitting timelines, developers predict 9.1GW of the pipeline with 14 projects to be in operation by 2026.

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