14.1 A 30-year wind climatology off the coast of Delaware from high-resolution numerical weather prediction

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 4:30 PM
Room 6A (Austin Convention Center)
Bryan Woods, AER, Lexington, MA; and T. Nehrkorn

As worldwide wind energy production continues to grow, developers are increasingly examining offshore areas for development. A detailed wind climatology is an integral part of any resource study. On the outer continental shelf, where observations are typically extremely sparse, numerical weather modeling provides a method to gain insight into wind energy potential. Under a contract from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEM), and MMI Engineering, AER has conducted a two-phase modeling study to provide a 30-year near-surface wind climatology off the coast of Delaware.

In the first phase of the project, a limited number of downscaled simulations were run and tested against observations to determine an optimal model configuration for predicting offshore winds. In the second phase, a full 30-year climatology of wind resources offshore of Delaware was generated by repeatedly sampling a limited simulation library. The full climatology was built by matching the high-resolution fields to the reanalysis at every time in the 30-year climatology and sampling from the most similar modeled time. Simulated winds were found to validate much better (differences ~2%) than reanalysis data (~25%) when compared to the available buoy observations. This complete climatology can serve as a guide for the feasibility of economical wind energy development in the region. A summary and results from the climatology will be presented.

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