Coastal and Offshore Energy

Addressing Interactions between Fisheries and Offshore Wind Development: The Block Island Wind Farm

Lipsky A, Moura S, Kenney A, Bellavance R. Addressing Interactions between Fisheries and Offshore Wind Development: The Block Island Wind Farm. Boston, Massachusetts: SeaPlan; 2016 p. 12 pp.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) is a 30-megawatt offshore wind farm located in Rhode Island waters approximately three miles southeast of Block Island. The BIWF consists of five offshore wind turbine generators and a submarine cable to Block Island. Deepwater Wind Block Island, LLC (DWBI), sited the BIWF within the Renewable Energy Zone established by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) through a well described comprehensive marine spatial planning process: the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (OSAMP; CRMC 2010). Construction of the BIWF began in 2015 and is scheduled for completion in 2016. When fully installed, the BIWF will generate over 125,000 megawatt hours of power annually, enough to satisfy 17,200 Rhode Island households (Tetra Tech 2012). Associated with the BIWF is the “sea2shore: The Renewable Link” (sea2shore; previously known as the “Block Island Transmission System”), a bi-directional cable system that will connect Block Island to the mainland electric grid for the first time.

Building off of work conducted as part of the OSAMP, DWBI made it a priority early in the project planning process to work with the commercial fishing industry, including recreational charter and party boat industries, to better understand potential impacts, minimize impacts, and develop mitigation measures. Starting in 2012, the DWBI team designed and initiated an outreach, impact minimization, and mitigation effort, the implementation of which is ongoing. Highlights of this effort include the following:

  • Open meetings with the fishing community

  • Meetings with the CRMC Fisheries Advisory Board (FAB)

  • Meeting with individual fishing groups to discuss ways to avoid and minimize impact

  • Establishment of fisheries and science liaisons

  • An outreach and engagement process to inventory and evaluate potential fishery and fishing impacts

  • Long-term collaborative groundfish and lobster studies with fishermen before, during, and after wind farm construction

  • Development of a unique mitigation framework to address potential impacts

  • A mitigation package that includes an innovative marketing campaign to promote charter and party boat fishing in Rhode Island and funding of an Executive Director of the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island

  • A process to compensate fishermen impacted by closure of an area during foundation installation

This paper summarizes the fisheries outreach program and highlights strategies that were effective in minimizing conflict and establishing a collaborative relationship between DWBI and Rhode Island commercial and recreational fishing communities. As DWBI completes the BIWF construction and moves into the operations phase, lessons learned from the BIWF engagement model, mitigation framework, and collaborative data collection will be helpful to inform future offshore wind developments in the United States. 

The spatiotemporal characteristics of environmental hazards caused by offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico

Meng Q. The spatiotemporal characteristics of environmental hazards caused by offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2016 ;565:663 - 671. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716310270
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine ecosystems are home to a host of numerous species ranging from tiny planktonic organisms, fishes, and birds, to large mammals such as the whales, manatees, and seals. However, human activities such as offshore oil and gas operations increasingly threaten marine and coastal ecosystems, for which there has been little exploration into the spatial and temporal risks of offshore oil operations. Using the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world's hottest spots of offshore oil and gas mining, as the study area, we propose a spatiotemporal approach that integrates spatial statistics and geostatistics in a geographic information system environment to provide insight to environmental management and decision making for oil and gas operators, coastal communities, local governments, and the federal government. We use the records from 1995 to 2015 of twelve types of hazards caused by offshore oil and gas operations, and analyze them spatially over a five year period. The spatial clusters of these hazards are analyzed and mapped using Getis-Ord Gi and local Moran's I statistics. We then design a spatial correlation coefficient matrix for multivariate spatial correlation, which is the ratio of the cross variogram of two types of hazards to the product of the variograms of the two hazards, showing a primary understanding of the degrees of spatial correlation among the twelve types hazards. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first application of spatiotemporal analysis methods to environmental hazards caused by offshore oil and gas operations; the proposed methods can be applied to other regions for the management and monitoring of environmental hazards caused by offshore oil operations.

Exploring the utility and effectiveness of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) wave energy resource assessment and characterisation standard: A case study

Ramos V, Ringwood JV. Exploring the utility and effectiveness of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) wave energy resource assessment and characterisation standard: A case study. Energy [Internet]. 2016 ;107:668 - 682. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544216304595
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

For wave energy to become a commercially viable source of energy, a complete understanding of the wave resource characterisation is needed. In this context, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has developed a technical specification for the assessment of the wave resource, IEC-TS 62600-101: Marine energy-Wave, tidal and other water current converters-Part 101: Wave energy resource assessment and characterisation (IEC-62600-101), which presents a series of recommendations for standardising wave resource characterisation. The IEC-62600-101 classifies resource assessment studies into three different classes: reconnaissance, feasibility and design. The model setup requirements (mesh resolution, boundary conditions) and the effort (validation process, computational times) vary considerably from one class to the other. On these grounds, the objective of this work is to explore this methodology using the Irish West Coast as a case study. Overall, it was found that the methodology proposed performs well, offering a detailed characterisation of the resource; however, with the aim of making the technical specification more manageable, some aspects related to the seasonality of the wave resource and the validation and model setup procedures may be revisited for future editions.

Perceptions of the Block Island Wind Farm Process: Perspectives From Those Involved

Dwyer J. Perceptions of the Block Island Wind Farm Process: Perspectives From Those Involved. Kingston: The University of Rhode Island; 2016. Available from: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/theses/857/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

Renewable energy technologies (RETs), such as offshore wind, are facing the dilemma of relatively strong national support, yet formidable local opposition, especially concerning siting decisions. This research uses the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) as a case study example to analyze the public engagement process that led to the BIWF. This study attempts to find rationales for the public’s support or opposition of the project based on certain aspects of the process, rather than solely examining oppositional viewpoints. Through 19 in-person interviews, state officials, the private development team, and public stakeholders were asked about their expectations as they began the public engagement process. Specifically, the interviewees were asked how they perceive their role in the process, as well as the role of the other groups. Attitudinal statements were used to understand if these expectations were or were not fulfilled by the process and how that may impact project support. These statements and thematic coding found that trust, both for the process and the process leaders, was essential for support of the outcome. Without sensing trust, Public Stakeholders formed opposing views of the process in general, which then led to opposition to the outcome. For building trust, the proper incorporation of expectations was key. Also, the use of more informal meetings and trusted community liaisons were beneficial to the process for building support. The need for trust in the process appears essential for project support. Thus, techniques utilized in this case study can be looked to for best practices of reasonably incorporating expectations to build trust, as well as for potentially increasing support for projects.

Offshore Wind Assessment for the Southeastern United States

Bissonnette K, Christman M, Feng J, Zhang Y. Offshore Wind Assessment for the Southeastern United States. Durham, NC: Duke University; 2016. Available from: http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/handle/10161/11883
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

This report provides an assessment of the current state of potential offshore wind generation in the southeastern United States. Analysis in this report aims to provide input to our client, Southern Company, on expanding their renewable generation portfolio. While offshore wind has begun to thrive in the European Union, the United States, with significantly larger areas of available land, has largely avoided offshore installations in favor of cheaper onshore farms. However, there is significant offshore wind potential in the coastal areas of the U.S. including the southeast where our client, Southern Company, operates. Numerous considerations including endangered wildlife, limited policy incentives, and widespread stakeholder impacts have kept offshore wind from becoming practical in the U.S. Emerging new technologies, more consistent operation, and careful planning and siting may allow a utility with a large customer base and significant influence like Southern Company to overcome the financial hurdles involved in construction and installation of wind farms. Limited federal and state policies within Southern Company’s service region, however, remain a significant challenge and will likely keep offshore wind as an unfavorable source of renewable energy for the foreseeable future.

Offshore wind farm site selection study around Jeju Island, South Korea

Kim T, Park J-I, Maeng J. Offshore wind farm site selection study around Jeju Island, South Korea. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2016 ;94:619 - 628. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116302671
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This study suggests strategies for conducting an offshore wind farm site selection and evaluates feasible offshore wind farm sites in the coastal areas of Jeju Island, South Korea. The site selection criteria are classified into four categories: energy resources and economics, conservation areas and landscape protection, human activities, and the marine environment and marine ecology. We used marine spatial techniques from GIS and the investigated resources available in the country. The results indicate that offshore wind farms can be located along a wide range of the eastern and western coasts of Jeju Island, considering energy resources and economics only. However, when considering the four categories presented in this study, the number of feasible offshore wind farm sites was significantly less than when only energy resources and economics were considered. The data and analysis presented in this study will be useful for the offshore wind farm site selection around Jeju Island, and it will also contribute to minimizing the environmental impacts and reducing the social conflicts between stakeholders.

Temporal-spatial variation of wave energy and nearshore hotspots in the Gulf of Oman based on locally generated wind waves

Kamranzad B, Chegini V, Etemad-Shahidi A. Temporal-spatial variation of wave energy and nearshore hotspots in the Gulf of Oman based on locally generated wind waves. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2016 ;94:341 - 352. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116302683
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This study aims to assess the wave energy at five coastal stations in the Gulf of Oman using the time series of locally generated wind waves obtained by numerical modeling for 11 years. For this purpose, the spatial, seasonal, monthly, directional, inter-annual of wave energy and power were investigated. The spatial distribution shows that the wave power increases towards the Indian Ocean and the highest mean wave power is located at the eastern station in all seasons. In addition, monthly mean wave power is highest during July and August while the monthly maximum wave power is highest during February at all stations. The ratio of monthly maximum to mean wave power is also the lowest during May to August. Moreover, Monthly Variability Index is the highest in west of the domain where there is no significant wave power potential. In addition, annual wave power as well as total and exploitable wave energies increases from west to east, where the dominant waves propagate from the south, and the exploitable wave energy is approximately 20 times greater than of the central stations.

A holistic method for selecting tidal stream energy hotspots under technical, economic and functional constraints

Vazquez A, Iglesias G. A holistic method for selecting tidal stream energy hotspots under technical, economic and functional constraints. Energy Conversion and Management [Internet]. 2016 ;117:420 - 430. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890416301352
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Although a number of prospective locations for tidal stream farms have been identified, the development of a unified approach for selecting the optimum site in a region remains a current research topic. The objective of this work is to develop and apply a methodology for determining the most suitable sites for tidal stream farms, i.e. sites whose characteristics maximise power performance, minimise cost and avoid conflicts with competing uses of the marine space. Illustrated through a case study in the Bristol Channel, the method uses a validated hydrodynamics model to identify highly energetic areas and a geospatial Matlab-based program (designed ad hoc) to estimate the energy output that a tidal farm at the site with a given technology would have. This output is then used to obtain the spatial distribution of the levelised cost of energy and, on this basis, to preselect certain areas. Subsequently, potential conflicts with other functions of the marine space (e.g. fishing, shipping) are considered. The result is a selection of areas for tidal stream energy development based on a holistic approach, encompassing the relevant technical, economic and functional aspects. This methodology can lead to a significant improvement in the selection of tidal sites, thereby increasing the possibilities of project acceptance and development.

Assessing Fish and Motile Fauna around Offshore Windfarms Using Stereo Baited Video

Griffin RA, Robinson GJ, West A, Gloyne-Phillips IT, Unsworth RKF. Assessing Fish and Motile Fauna around Offshore Windfarms Using Stereo Baited Video. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(3):e0149701. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149701
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There remains limited knowledge of how offshore windfarm developments influence fish assemblages, particularly at a local scale around the turbine structures. Considering the existing levels of anthropogenic pressures on coastal fish populations it is becoming increasingly important for developers and environmental regulators to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing fish assemblages. Improving our ability to assess such fish populations in close proximity to structures will assist in increasing this knowledge. In the present study we provide the first trial use of Baited Remote Underwater Stereo-Video systems (stereo BRUVs) for the quantification of motile fauna in close proximity to offshore wind turbines. The study was conducted in the Irish Sea and finds the technique to be a viable means of assessing the motile fauna of such environments. The present study found a mixture of species including bottom dwellers, motile crustaceans and large predatory fish. The majority of taxa observed were found to be immature individuals with few adult individuals recorded. The most abundant species were the angular crab (Goneplax rhomboides) and the small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula). Of note in this study was the generally low abundance and diversity of taxa recorded across all samples, we hypothesise that this reflects the generally poor state of the local fauna of the Irish Sea. The faunal assemblages sampled in close proximity to turbines were observed to alter with increasing distance from the structure, species more characteristic of hard bottom environments were in abundance at the turbines (e.g. Homarus gammarusCancer pagarusScyliorhinus spp.) and those further away more characteristic of soft bottoms (e.g. Norwegian Lobster). This study highlights the need for the environmental impacts of offshore renewables on motile fauna to be assessed using targeted and appropriate tools. Stereo BRUVs provide one of those tools, but like the majority of methods for sampling marine biota, they have limitations. We conclude our paper by providing a discussion of the benefits and limitations of using this BRUV technique for assessing fauna within areas close to offshore windfarms.

Analyzing interdependencies between policy mixes and technological innovation systems: The case of offshore wind in Germany

Reichardt K, Negro SO, Rogge KS, Hekkert MP. Analyzing interdependencies between policy mixes and technological innovation systems: The case of offshore wind in Germany. Technological Forecasting and Social Change [Internet]. 2016 ;106:11 - 21. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162516000305
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

One key approach for studying emerging technologies in the field of sustainability transitions is that of technological innovation systems (TIS). While most TIS studies aim at deriving policy recommendations – typically by identifying system barriers – the actual role of these proposed policies in the TIS is rarely looked at. In addition, often single policy instruments instead of more encompassing policy mixes are considered. We address these shortcomings by applying a more comprehensive policy mix concept within the TIS approach. In doing so we analyze interdependencies between the policy mix and the TIS by shedding light on the role of the policy mix for TIS functioning and performance as well as how TIS developments influence the evolution of the policy mix. We explore these interdependencies for the case of offshore wind in Germany, using data from event history analysis and expert interviews. We find highly dynamic interdependencies with reoccurring patterns of systemic problems and adjustments of the policy mix, which are fuelled by high policy mix credibility and supportive actors. Our study constitutes a first step incorporating the policy mix concept into the TIS approach, thereby enabling a better understanding of real dynamics occurring in TIS.

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