USOWC Pilot Project Reports

Before official incorporation of the USOWC, an informal Steering Committee (for what at the time was called simply the Offshore Wind Collaborative) initiated work in key known areas of interest. Funded by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, General Electric, and the U.S. Department of Energy, this group completed a set of pilot projects, as well as A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States. The Massachsuetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Massachusetts (UMass), and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) worked cooperatively to develop six pre-proposals which: 1) emphasized joint work among the institutions, and 2) demonstrated the scope of perspective of the USOWC in addressing important environmental and public policy concerns in context with engineering considerations.

The final reports of the pilot projects are available below:

Geotechnical Considerations for Offshore Wind Turbines

Zachary J. Westgate and Jason T. DeJong 
August 1, 2005

This report focuses primarily on the site condition assessment and foundation modeling, design, and to a lesser extent, the installation aspects required for successful development of an offshore wind farm.

Economic and Environmental Performance of Potential Northeast Offshore Wind Energy Resources

Michael Berlinski and Stephen Connors
Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives
Laboratory for Energy and the Environment
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
December 31, 2005

This project focused on gathering and assessing offshore wind resource information along the Northeastern United States coast, and evaluating the potential economic and environmental performance of these resources.

This project addresses fundamental economic and environmental issues related to the costs and benefits of deep-water offshore wind for New England. It identifies key performance thresholds including cost, and quantifies the variability of the offshore wind regime. It also highlights areas for further research needed to refine and extend these and other performance metrics.

Offshore Wind Farm Layout Optimization (OWFLO) Project: Preliminary Results 

Christopher N. Elkinton, James F. Manwell, and Jon G. McGowan
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The objective of the project is to pinpoint the major economic hurdles present for offshore wind farm developers by creating an analysis tool that unites offshore turbine micrositing criteria with efficient optimization algorithms. This tool will then be used to evaluate the effects of factors such as distance from shore and water depth on the economic feasibility of offshore wind energy.

Wind Turbine Underwater Noise and Marine Mammals: Implications of Current Knowledge and Data Needs

P. T. Madsen, M. Wahlberg, J. Tougaard, K. Lucke, andP. Tyack

This paper reviews the existing literature and assesses zones of impact from different noise-generating activities in conjunction with wind farms on representative shallow-water species of marine mammals.

Legal And Regulatory Framework for Siting Offshore Wind Energy Facilities

P. Hoagland, M.E. Schumacher, H.L. Kite-Powell, and J.A. Duff

This study is designed to help clarify national and local decisions about the siting of wind power generating facilities in the US coastal ocean.