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Publication Date
6 June 2023

Modeling Annual Electricity Production and Levelized Cost of Energy from the US East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas



Offshore wind energy development along the East Coast of the US is proceeding quickly as a result of large areas with an excellent wind resource, low water depths and proximity to large electricity markets. Careful planning of wind turbine deployments in these offshore wind energy lease areas (LA) is required to maximize power output and to minimize wake losses between neighboring wind farms as well as those internal to each wind farm. Here, we used microscale wind modeling with two wake parameterizations to evaluate the potential annual energy production (AEP) and wake losses in the different LA areas, and we developed and applied a levelized cost of energy (LCoE) model to quantify the impact of different wind turbine layouts on LCoE. The modeling illustrated that if the current suite of LA is subject to deployment of 15 MW wind turbines at a spacing of 1.85 km, they will generate 4 to 4.6% of total national electricity demand. The LCoE ranged from $68 to $102/MWh depending on the precise layout selected, which is cost competitive with many other generation sources. The scale of the wind farms that will be deployed greatly exceed those currently operating and mean that wake-induced power losses are considerable but still relatively poorly constrained. AEP and LCoE exhibited significant dependence on the precise wake model applied. For the largest LA, the AEP differed by over 10% depending on the wake model used, leading to a $10/MWh difference in LCoE for the wind turbine layout with 1.85 km spacing.

Barthelmie, Rebecca J., Gunner C. Larsen, and Sara C. Pryor. 2023. “Modeling Annual Electricity Production And Levelized Cost Of Energy From The Us East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas”. Energies 16 (12). MDPI AG: 4550. doi:10.3390/en16124550.
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