New York To Collect Metocean, Environmental Data In Support Of Offshore Wind

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The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced the execution of two multiyear contracts to study the meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions in the waters off the Atlantic coast of New York, called the New York Bight.

According to NYSERDA, the project advances and supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a clean energy agenda that includes an increase of New York’s offshore wind target to 9,000 MW by 2035, up from 2,400 MW by 2030.

The new project will result in metocean LiDAR systems being mounted on buoys 20 miles from the shore in the New York Bight. LiDAR is remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds. Each of the metocean buoys will be deployed for two years, potentially in multiple locations, to measure turbine hub-height wind speed and direction, wave and current measurements, and other environmental data.

According to NYSERDA, better metocean characterization of the wind, wave and ocean currents will also help increase certainty of development conditions – valuable information for planning project layout, turbine siting and engineering.

“As New York works to become a national hub for offshore wind, access to better metocean and environmental data will further advance offshore wind projects in the most informed and responsible manner possible,” says Alicia Barton, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “Deploying this data collection technology will help protect the state’s coastal resources and marine environment and is a significant step towards meeting Governor Cuomo’s offshore wind and clean energy goals.”

The contracts were awarded to Ocean Tech Services, which will serve as a floating LiDAR system supplier and will focus on permitting, hardware, deployment, maintenance and decommissioning of the LiDAR systems, and DNV GL, which will serve as the data management and analysis contractor with a primary focus on data analysis, data storage and data presentation.

The companies plan to start deploying the two systems in May. The sensors will also provide data that will inform avian ecologists and marine biologists of the presence, frequency and distribution of birds, bats and marine mammals and will inform future environmental impact assessment studies for offshore wind.

This project is supported by NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund.

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