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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Integrated Science and Technology
Efforts to encourage more conservative electricity consumption, through public awareness campaigns and government-mandated energy efficiency standards, have consistently been overshadowed by population increase and increased standards of living, leading to higher electricity demand, year after year. Sufficient resources and technology exist to support the development of a robust offshore wind industry to help meet this rising demand, but a number of barriers unique to the U.S. have hindered progress. Addressing many of these obstacles involves resolving uncertainty issues related to development. Not only is there a general lack of data to provide stakeholders, developers, and governing authorities with sufficient information for informed decision-making for offshore wind projects, but the data that do exist are often fragmented or isolated within a particular project or application. There is an immediate need to improve the reliability of metocean data as it pertains to characterizing the offshore wind resource, and to share that and other related information in a standard format that promotes and encourages interoperability across multiple platforms associated with offshore wind development. The methodology for addressing some of these data challenges began with the evaluation of a proposed improvement to a particular atmospheric modeling system being utilized to provide wind resource data within the “Virginia Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Site Development” project. By considering the current limitations associated with SST data acquisition and initial analyses, it was determined that the integration of higher resolution SST data would be valuable only if latency issues in the data were resolved, which would require the development of an SST forecasting mode to be coupled with the operational model. This did not prove justifiable due to the lack of significant improvements in wind speed forecasting capability. Data accessibility issues were then addressed in the development of a web mapping portal designed to dynamically display geo-referenced project results and integrate publicly-available metocean data. By utilizing best practices for data sharing and information dissemination, optimum interoperability was established through smart design and the use of standard web service protocols.
West, Whitney Amanda, "Metocean data management and modeling to support U.S. offshore wind power development in the Mid-Atlantic" (2012). Masters Theses. 364.