PPG supports first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in U.S. waters
First composite tower for wind industry, by Ershigs, includes PPG fiber glass
PITTSBURGH, June 10, 2013 – PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) 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-feet 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 fiber glass reinforcements.
During the University of Maine’s May 31 event celebrating the launch of VolturnUS 1:8 – the first offshore floating wind turbine to be deployed in U.S. waters and grid-connected, and also the first to include a tower constructed of a fiber glass-reinforced composite material – project supporters and members of the DeepCwind Consortium stand with the wind turbine prototype. PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) fiber glass business provided reinforcements to its customer Ershigs to create the composite materials used in the tower. (Photo courtesy of The University of Maine)
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-megawatt 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, 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 fiber glass composite towers."
McDonald said, "One of our primary goals as a fiber 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, 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, has a goal of generating 5 gigawatts of power by 2030 with floating wind turbines located 20-50 miles off the coast of Maine. The consortium is a public-private partnership funded by organizations such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation-Partners for Innovation and more than 30 industry partners including PPG.
PPG Fiber Glass is a global manufacturer of reinforcement materials for thermoset and thermoplastic composite applications with manufacturing and research facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia. It serves the transportation, energy, infrastructure and consumer markets, as well as electronic circuit board and specialty yarn markets. For more information, visit www.ppgfiberglass.com. EXPERTISE YOU TRUST. SOLUTIONS YOU DEMAND.(TM)
About DeepCwind Consortium
The DeepCwind Consortium's mission is to establish the State of Maine as a national leader in deepwater offshore wind technology through a research initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and others. The University of Maine-led consortium includes universities, nonprofits and utilities; a wide range of industry leaders in offshore design, offshore construction and marine structures manufacturing; firms with expertise in wind project siting, environmental analysis, environmental law, composites materials to assist in corrosion-resistant material design and selection, and energy investment; and industry organizations to assist with education and tech transfer activities. For more information, visit www.deepcwind.org.
Ershigs, Inc., founded in 1935, is a leader and innovator in the composites industry in North and South America. The company is a recognized Specialty Contractor involved in on-site manufacturing and construction of turn-key composite projects. Ershigs has manufacturing locations in Bellingham and Ridgefield, Wash.; Sarnia, Ontario; Grand Bay, Ala.; Luka, Miss.; and Santiago, Chile. Ershigs has the ability to mobilize globally, addressing large-diameter composite field winding and construction projects. For more information, visit www.ershigs.com.
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