Active Stabilization System of a Floating Wind Turbine Platform; The Means and Motives of Cape Wind Opposition

Anderson, Ryan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Momot, Michael, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Laugelli, Benjamin, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The technical work and research case investigated in this portfolio both address the socio-technical challenge of a clean energy transition and primarily focus on the shortcomings of the growing offshore wind market. These shortcomings include instability and power deficiencies of the technology itself as well as social and political factors like public opposition and complicated permitting processes. Currently, offshore wind turbines are limited to “fixed-bottom” technologies, meaning they must be anchored to the seabed and placed close to shore. The technical report seeks to design and test an active stabilization system for an offshore floating turbine platform, which uses gyroscopes and motors to actively adjust horizontal orientation. Additionally, the political culture of the US and failed projects like Cape Wind have induced distrust toward offshore wind and allowed other countries to largely surpass the US in offshore wind growth. The research paper in this portfolio seeks to analyze the failed Cape Wind case and the methods and motivations behind some of its strongest opponents: The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and The Wampanoag Tribes. By choosing a related technical project and research case, I set out to holistically propose a solution to these technical and social challenges while further accelerating the transition to clean energy.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
wind, energy, renewable, offshore, Cape Wind
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