Measurements of Offshore Wind Resources over Maryland for Strategic Planning and Development of Offshore Wind Energy Projects

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Farrah Daham, JCET/Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD; and G. Antoszewski, D. Wesloh, A. St. Pé, and R. Delgado

Offshore wind energy promises to be a significant domestic renewable energy source for coastal electricity loads. A database that includes offshore wind resource characteristics such as wind speed, water depth and distance from shore needs to be generated to properly determine the economics and societal benefit of offshore wind resources to the State of Maryland. To address the need for offshore wind measurements aloft at turbine‐rotor heights (100 m), aerosol and wind lidar measurements instruments are able to provide nearly continuous observations in the lower troposphere. In particular, lidar systems can measure profiles of key variables in the marine boundary layer (MBL) such as particle backscatter, and wind, with suitable accuracy and resolution. Offshore lidar measurements have been conducted during the Maryland Energy Administration geophysical survey (July-August 2013) aboard the Scarlet Isabella over the specified Maryland Wind Energy Area, 10-25 miles offshore from Ocean City, MD. Characterization of the MD offshore wind resource is determined with Doppler wind lidar measurements (40-220 m) to provide high‐quality measurements of wind and turbulence profiles above the air‐ocean interface. The estimated power output from the measured winds was calculated at the turbine-rotor height wind speeds with the purpose of assessing the energy production in relation to the expected electricity requirement of Maryland. Thus the practical usefulness of offshore wind turbines for alternative energy purposes can be concluded while also decreasing uncertainty and risk regarding potential future wind turbine projects by verifying the estimated wind speeds of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. To reduce uncertainty in NWP MBL parameters, elastic lidar aerosol profiles and PM10 data were collected to determine the MBL height and concentration of marine aerosol (sea salt particles), respectively.