J4.3 Validation of Wind and Wave Forecasts to Improve Offshore Wind Installation Activities

Monday, 23 January 2017: 2:00 PM
608 (Washington State Convention Center )
Robert Fratantonio, RPS ASA, South Kingstown, RI; and J. Hanson, G. Hagerman, and J. Orrock

One of the major risk factors and cost drivers for developing Virginia offshore wind power is the unknown reliability of offshore marine wind and wave forecasts for scheduling construction and installation activities. Offshore construction and installation equipment spreads have lease rates on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars per day once mobilized and deployed offshore. It's critical for decision-makers to have confidence in the metocean forecast to ensure the safety of the workforce and improve the efficiency of construction and maintenance activities.

To combat these risk factors, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) has developed a Mid-Atlantic Metocean Data Portal with the objective of improved availability and validation of public offshore wind and wave forecast datasets. Forecast data available for real-time validation include the Nearshore Wave Prediction System (NWPS) issued by the Wakefield Regional Forecast Office of the National Weather Service (NWS-RFO Wakefield), and operational WAVEWATCH III issued by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). All data is managed through the RPS ASA Environmental Data Server (EDS). The EDS is comprised of a central data server (with mirroring) that stores and collects data from various sources (e.g., numerical models, observation stations) and utilizes a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that provides Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Representational State Transfer (REST) and Web Map Service (WMS) interfaces for client applications.

Model fields are visualized in a full-featured map based user experience. Users can interrogate grid points of interest for plotting forecast time series and comparison with nearby measurements on user defined time scales. Forecast datasets are validated by performing an ‘on-the-fly’ robust statistical temporal correlation analyses with data from coastal observation stations maintained by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) and the NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS).

In addition to the benefits of improved decision making for offshore wind site assessment and construction logistics, the Mid-Atlantic Metocean Data Portal can also benefit commercial shipping and fishing industries, emergency responders, and recreational boaters as they operate in the mid-Atlantic. This portal is available to the public at http://oceansmap.com/midatlanticportal/.

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