NYSERDA Collecting Ocean, Weather Data for Offshore Wind Power

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making up to $5 million available to support meteorological and oceanographic data collection off the New York coast in areas with the potential for future offshore wind development.

NYSERDA is issuing a request for proposals to collect more detailed metocean information about the wind resources off New York to help advance offshore wind development and secure reliable and bankable wind resource data for wind farm developers to reduce uncertainty about site conditions.

High-quality metocean and other data will also be made available to the public on an ongoing basis to encourage broad usage and to inform further studies to better understand the offshore study area’s wind energy resources and ecosystem.

To jumpstart the development of offshore wind resources for New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in his 2018 state of the state address that in 2018 and 2019, the state will issue two solicitations to secure a combined total of at least 800 MW of offshore wind power.

This project will deploy two buoys equipped with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system(s), remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds at altitude. Each of the buoys will be deployed for approximately two years to measure wind speed and direction at turbine hub-height, wave and current measurements, as well as other environmental data.

Better metocean characterization of the wind, wave, and ocean currents will also help increase certainty of development conditions which is valuable information for planning project layout, turbine siting and engineering. More efficient design of offshore wind sites will help maximize renewable energy output, delivering more clean energy to the electric grid in a smaller physical and environmental footprint.

NYSERDA will also require successful proposers to coordinate with regional environmental scientists to collect information that could be useful in understanding more about ecosystem function, timing and relative density of wildlife in the area, or ambient underwater noise.

This data will inform future environmental impact assessment studies for offshore wind and can be supported by the next generation of floating LiDAR buoys which are being designed to incorporate additional environmental sensors such as hydrophones to detect marine mammals, or bird and bat acoustic detectors. Similarly, the buoy anchors lines could be equipped with instrumentation to collect data on ocean currents, temperature or chlorophyll concentrations at different depths.

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