The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced last week that Gulf Louisiana Offshore Wind Propeller, a consortium that includes Tulane University, is one of 31 newly designated Tech Hubs.
The consortium, known as GLOW Propeller, will support development of offshore wind energy production in Louisiana, bolstering the state’s leadership role in traditional and emerging renewable energy production.
“This designation is national recognition of Tulane’s vital role in finding solutions to the most pressing global issues of our times through interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and discovery,” President Michael A. Fitts said. “It is also part of Tulane’s continued commitment to ensuring both the economic vitality and environmental leadership of our home state.”
Scientists, researchers and scholars from Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering, the A. B. Freeman School of Business and the Tulane Center for Energy Law will all play a role in the Tech Hub.
The School of Science and Engineering will explore potential utilization of AI in wind technology and the use of high-performance computing for hurricane protection. The law school will provide expertise in energy law and emerging technologies, and the business school’s Energy Institute will focus on evaluation and forecasting the success of wind power projects as well as the impact of policies related to its growth and use.
“I am so pleased that Tulane is a partner in this new, exciting and potentially game-changing endeavor,” said Kimberly L. Foster, dean of the School of Science and Engineering. “Our designation as a Tech Hub strengthens our quest to bring the best minds from our university together with industry and government leaders to create the next generation of wind energy technology.”
In addition to Tulane, the GLOW Propeller consortium includes LSU, Southern University, UNO and Xavier, plus two community colleges, Delgado and Nunez. It also includes industry leaders Gulf Wind Technologies, RWE and Sev1Tech, as well as Greater New Orleans, Inc., the Water Institute of the Gulf, Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the City of New Orleans and Port Fourchon, the nation’s leading offshore energy port.
The Tech Hub designation is an invitation to submit an Implementation Proposal to the EDA that could fund a wide range of efforts to increase the Gulf region’s capacity as a generator of wind energy. After reviewing Implementation Proposals, the EDA plans to fund 5-10 Designated Tech Hubs, with each receiving approximately $40-$70 million across approximately 3 to 8 projects. The GLOW Propeller consortium was also awarded a Strategy Development Grant that will enable it to increase local coordination and planning activities focused on job creation and other economic benefits of wind energy. The Tech Hubs Program was enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which provides new funding to boost domestic research and the manufacturing of semiconductors in the U.S.
The GLOW Propeller has a twofold objective: to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the Louisiana energy industry and to embrace the benefits of offshore wind and renewable energy, alongside the oil and gas sectors. By harnessing the advantages of existing infrastructure, the aim is to bolster and diversify the state's energy landscape, creating a harmonious synergy between these key industries.
“For nearly a century, Louisiana has been at the forefront of our nation’s domestic offshore energy production,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “By helping universities, companies and technical colleges in Louisiana develop critical offshore wind technology and know-how, this program will help Louisiana stay a leader for the next century. I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, as well as Rep. Troy Carter, Sen. Bill Cassidy and President Biden for their support of the CHIPS and Science Act that makes this important work possible.”