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PPG Supports First Grid-Connected Offshore Wind Turbine in US Waters

18 June 2013

PPG Fiber Glass is helping its customer, Ershigs, to support the first grid-connected, offshore wind turbine in US waters, which was deployed on 31st May near Brewer, Maine, by the University of Maine as leader of the DeepCwind Consortium.

The 65ft-tall wind-turbine prototype includes a tower Ershigs constructed using a fibreglass-reinforced composite material, which is a first for a wind-energy installation, according to Kevin McDonald, General Manager of Fiber Glass Reinforcements at PPG.

The prototype turbine, called VolturnUS 1:8, is part of a programme aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind energy to compete better with other forms of electricity generation. It is one-eighth the scale of the 6MW VolturnUS offshore, floating wind turbine the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center plans to launch in the coming years. The full-scale towerhe coming years, will enable project participants to validate and improve technologies used in this application, such as the strong, lightweight and corrosion-resistant composite material comprising the tower.                                          

“The funding and support that we receive from PPG to advance the development of the offshore-wind market is critical for success,” said Tom Pilcher, Ershigs president. "Having the right partners with the right products that meet the project specifications, while leveraging our capabilities and technologies, is vital and essential to our success as a supplier of the fibre-glass-composite towers."

McDonald said, "One of our primary goals as a fibre-glass supplier is to help our customers deliver solutions that meet the demands of the marketplace. Our collaboration with Ershigs on this project enables each of us to contribute to the development and advancement of composite use in the renewable energy industry."

The DeepCwind Consortium is led by the University of Maine and headed by Habib J. Dagher, a Professor of Civil Engineering at the university and Director of its Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The consortium has a goal of generating 5GWof power by 2030 from floating wind turbines located 20-50 miles off the coast of Maine. The consortium is a public-private partnership funded by organisations such as the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation Partners for Innovation and more than 30 industry partners, including PPG.

Photo provided by PPG






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