Offshore Wind Site Screening and Feasibility

Desktop site screening

Offshore wind farm turbine layout rendered in Openwind softwareWe have developed tools to support fast and effective screening for wind project sites. Typically, the process considers the following factors:

  • Wind resource. Our high-resolution wind resource maps, among other data sources, permit efficient identification of promising windy sites and realistic estimates of production potential
  • Buildable area. The size of your project is constrained by the buildable area, which may be influenced by bathymetry, shipping lanes, underwater obstacles, and other considerations. We can estimate the buildable area and create preliminary layouts to illustrate your options.
  • Transmission lines. Proximity to transmission and the load-carrying capacity of existing lines are vital considerations for most projects. Our GIS experts and power engineers can help you assess your interconnection options.
  • Administrative boundaries. We can readily incorporate the latest state and federal administrative boundaries, including Bureau of Ocean Energy Management commercial lease boundaries and Wind Energy Areas

Our software can screen large regions for attractive sites and produce a ranked list with characteristics such as estimated capacity factor and rated capacity.

Feasibility study

A comprehensive feasibility study is a necessary step for an offshore wind project. It allows you to weigh the potential risks and rewards of the project – before you make a large investment in monitoring and other development activities. A typical study will include some or all of the following elements:

  • Resource assessment based on our high-resolution mesoscale-microscale resource maps and available observational data
  • Preliminary layout, turbine selection, and energy production estimate
  • Technical feasibility and technology options
  • Potential environmental impacts on fish and bird populations
  • Water depth and wave conditions
  • Seabed analysis and foundation options
  • Constraints due to shipping lanes and boating activity
  • Regulatory requirements and challenges
  • Interconnection options
  • Potential challenges for community acceptance
  • Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma

US Met-Ocean Data Center

Under a DOE funded initiative, UL (formerly AWS Truepower) was instrumental in developing an online data center for offshore renewable energy. The data center was developed to provide offshore wind energy stakeholders and other marine renewable energy interests with information about available met-ocean datasets for the United States and related multi-sector collaborative activities to improve the quantity and quality of, and access to, met-ocean data. Included is a searchable database of various met-ocean data sets. Visit the US Met-Ocean Data Center.