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PPG Industries recently announced its fiber glass business is helping its customer Ershigs support the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in U.S. waters, deployed May 31 near Brewer, Maine, by the University of Maine as leader of the DeepCwind Consortium. The approximately 65-ft-tall wind turbine prototype includes a tower Ershigs constructed using a fiber glass-reinforced composite material—a first for a wind energy installation, according to Kevin McDonald, PPG general manager for fiber glass reinforcements.
The prototype turbine, called VolturnUS 1:8, is part of a program 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 6-MW VolturnUS offshore floating wind turbine the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center plans to launch in the coming years, McDonald said, and it 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, president of Ershigs. “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 fiber glass composite towers.”
For additional information, visit www.ppgfiberglass.com.