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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Integrated Science and Technology
Offshore wind power is an increasingly viable resource that is being considered by many coastal States in the U.S for development. This thesis provides a recommendation concerning the foundations that will be needed for the construction of offshore wind farms off the coast of Virginia. To accomplish this I reviewed current and prototype underwater foundation technologies in order to establish viable options for developers to use. I was also able to analyze a case study that conducted “an analysis and survey of the experiences and lessons learned by developers of offshore wind farms” in Europe. This case study focuses mainly on early planning and construction lessons that were learned by European offshore wind developers on prior projects. It explains that most project costs and mistakes could be reduced or averted given sufficient and appropriate pre-project planning. I have also reviewed the proposed offshore wind projects planned along the east coast of the United States. This review includes an analysis of the federal regulations that are involved in developing in offshore waters. This thesis also evaluates state and local laws in Virginia and reviews the state sponsored research program supported by the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium. By compiling this information I am able to recommend that monopole and truss foundations with suction pillons be used for the development of offshore waters. Water depth and sediment type must be taken into account when choosing which foundation is best suited for a particular location. These two foundation types offer minimal seabed preparation and the lower cost per installation as compared to other foundations.
Geary, Ryan D., "A review of offshore wind technology and the development of the Virginia coastline and Outer Continental Shelf" (2009). Masters Theses. 217.