Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Extreme Wind and Waves in U.S. East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas

TitleExtreme Wind and Waves in U.S. East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Number4
Pages1053
Abstract / Summary

The Outer Continental Shelf along the U.S. east coast exhibits abundant wind resources and is now a geographic focus for offshore wind deployments. This analysis derives and presents expected extreme wind and wave conditions for the sixteen lease areas that are currently being developed. Using the homogeneous ERA5 reanalysis dataset it is shown that the fifty-year return period wind speed (U50) at 100 m a.s.l. in the lease areas ranges from 29.2 to 39.7 ms−1. After applying corrections to account for spectral smoothing and averaging period, the associated pseudo-point U50 estimates are 34 to 46 ms−1. The derived uncertainty in U50 estimates due to different distributional fitting is smaller than the uncertainty associated with under-sampling of the interannual variability in annual maximum wind speeds. It is shown that, in the northern lease areas, annual maximum wind speeds are generally associated with intense extratropical cyclones rather than cyclones of tropical origin. Extreme wave statistics are also presented and indicate that the 50-year return period maximum wave height may substantially exceed 15 m. From this analysis, there is evidence that annual maximum wind speeds and waves frequently derive from the same cyclone source and often occur within a 6 h time interval.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3390/en14041053
DOI10.3390/en14041053
Journal: Energies
Year of Publication: 2021
Volume: 14
Number: 4
Pages: 1053
Publication Date: 02/2021

The Outer Continental Shelf along the U.S. east coast exhibits abundant wind resources and is now a geographic focus for offshore wind deployments. This analysis derives and presents expected extreme wind and wave conditions for the sixteen lease areas that are currently being developed. Using the homogeneous ERA5 reanalysis dataset it is shown that the fifty-year return period wind speed (U50) at 100 m a.s.l. in the lease areas ranges from 29.2 to 39.7 ms−1. After applying corrections to account for spectral smoothing and averaging period, the associated pseudo-point U50 estimates are 34 to 46 ms−1. The derived uncertainty in U50 estimates due to different distributional fitting is smaller than the uncertainty associated with under-sampling of the interannual variability in annual maximum wind speeds. It is shown that, in the northern lease areas, annual maximum wind speeds are generally associated with intense extratropical cyclones rather than cyclones of tropical origin. Extreme wave statistics are also presented and indicate that the 50-year return period maximum wave height may substantially exceed 15 m. From this analysis, there is evidence that annual maximum wind speeds and waves frequently derive from the same cyclone source and often occur within a 6 h time interval.

DOI: 10.3390/en14041053
Citation:
Barthelmie, R, K Dantuono, E Renner, F Letson, and S Pryor.  2021.  "Extreme Wind and Waves in U.S. East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas."  Energies 14(4): 1053.  https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041053.