Shell Invests in Gulf Wind Technology for Gulf of Mexico Wind Turbine Project

New Orleans-based wind turbine rotor specialist Gulf Wind Technology (GWT) said Monday it had partnered with Shell New Energies US LLC (Shell), through a $10 million investment by the energy company, to create the Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator program. 

The collaboration includes deploying novel technologies to a demonstrator turbine as early as 2024, designed to develop, test and implement the first suite of optimized technical solutions for a Gulf of Mexico-specific wind turbine.

 The Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator will be a key enabler for wind in the region, combining research and development of new technologies with the Gulf’s first technology-focused education and training facility for workforce development aimed at accelerating the Gulf of Mexico offshore wind learning curve, Gulf Wind Technology said. 

“Wind resources in the Gulf region are more variable than what you find on the east coast where most of US offshore wind development activity is currently happening,” says James Martin, GWT CEO. 

“Seasonal hurricane conditions and moderate average wind speeds create a situation that requires a novel approach to the application of technology and the framework in which it is both developed and demonstrated. The Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator program has been specifically created to address and fulfill this need and enable the next steps for the region and for the industry.“ 

U.S. Gov’t Proposes First-ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale in Gulf of Mexico “Shell has been operating in the Gulf of Mexico for over six decades and has a long history of developing energy projects, including advancing and proving deep-water technologies,” says Amanda Dasch, Vice President Shell Offshore Power Americas. “We see opportunities to do the same for offshore wind in this region and are proud to support Louisiana’s 5GW offshore wind target by 2035. 

This $10 million investment to create the Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator program allows us to advance offshore wind development in the Gulf, while providing local wind industry training opportunities. “It also builds upon our support of other regional educational institutions, including Louisiana State University (LSU). In June 2022, Shell invested $27.5 million to establish the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and enable construction of the LSU Our Lady of the Lake Interdisciplinary Science Building.” 

‘No better place to invest in offshore wind than Louisiana’

 Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said: “As the global economy transitions to clean energy, Louisiana is ready to lead the way, creating jobs and diversifying our economy in the process. I applaud Shell and Gulf Wind Technology for recognizing the pivotal role Louisiana will play in the new energy economy, including in the offshore wind industry. With a skilled offshore workforce and our climate action plan in place, there is no better place to invest in offshore wind than Louisiana.” 

“The Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator program represents a milestone in the development of Louisiana as a hub for offshore wind,” adds Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans. “Combining the scale of Shell with the expertise of Gulf Wind Technology, the Accelerator will help Greater New Orleans develop the assets and workforce to power the energy future of the Gulf South, and the country.” 

The U.S. administration in February proposed the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the government’s plan to spur offshore wind deployment beyond the East Coast. 

The proposed sale is part of the leasing path announced by Secretary Haaland in 2021 to meet the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and follows the Department’s approval of the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects. 

The Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) announced in February includes a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other comprising 96,786 acres.

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