With the push for alternative energy well underway in the United States, programs are ramping up with plans to begin sending megawatts of power from the coastal ocean environment along
various regions of the U.S. seaboard back to the beach for distribution. Wind, wave and ocean-current energy programs are making considerable advances, with wind power out in front.
Wind is the world’s leading source of renewable electricity, although still considered an emerging industry in the U.S. It could help decrease greenhouse gas emissions and revitalize economic sectors of the nation. More than 90 percent of offshore wind installations are in
Europe, with nearly 4,600 megawatts of power generated as of mid-2012. Outside of Europe, only China and Japan have operational wind platforms offshore. The U.S. has yet to install a single turbine along its coastal oceans.
BOEM's regulatory process consists of identifying suitable areas, issuing a lease to a company interested in developing a wind assessment area (WEA), approving a site assessment plan (SAP) that includes meteorological (MET) measurements and approving a full construction and operation plan. A SAP must contain a proposal of any plans to construct meteorological towers and/or the deployment of buoy systems and must be preapproved by BOEM before site characterization activities begin. These activities include but are not limited to hazards, geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological, biological and metocean (meteorology and oceanography) surveys. MetOcean research and biological studies are critical to move forward with offshore wind energy and to fill gaps in knowledge, prioritize risks based on analysis of uncertainties and potential impacts, and assist in the responsible siting and installation of wind turbines within U.S. state and federal waters.
- Full MetOcean site investigations
- Full water-column physics (current velocity/direction, density/CTD)
- Water quality measurements
- Wind-energy-area bird and bat monitoring
- Wind-energy-area marine mammal monitoring
- In-situ data, recorded internally (raw data sets)
- In-situ data to your desktop/server in near-real-time
- Data processing and plotting
- Data analysis
- Project web page setup and support, real-time plotting
- Regional MetOcean and Waves: Hindcast, Nowcast, and Forecast modeling
- Project Management