RPS engineers and scientists from Australia and the United States are assisting Norwegian energy major Equinor to ride the wave of opportunity in offshore wind.
Engaged in late 2017 to develop a long-term meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) measurement program for a potential wind farm development off the east coast of the United States, RPS specialists will use floating light detection and ranging (Floating LiDAR) and a suite of other instruments to generate pivotal information about waves, wind, turbulence and current conditions.
“The United States’ first offshore wind farm began producing electricity off Block Island (Rhode Island) last year and confidence in the technology is growing with producers and regulators alike,” explains RPS MetOcean Science and Technology lead, Murray Burling.
“The U.S. Government’s goal is to develop enough wind generation capacity to meet 20 per cent of the country’s electricity demand by 2030, so smart energy companies like Equinor are securing interests in development lease agreements for offshore wind.”
RPS works with clients across the energy, marine rescue and recovery, aviation and other industries to measure, monitor and understand oceanographic patterns, with a focus on extreme conditions in exposed and complex environments – like those off the Atlantic Coast of America.
“When developing any project or structure offshore – be it a wind turbine, a solar panel or an oil platform – engineers and designers need reliable information about open-ocean conditions to guide their feasibility investigations, engineering and construction planning. That’s where we come in.”
Floating LiDAR is a relatively new measurement technique that uses laser light pulses to measure the speed at which particles in the air (water, dust etc) are moving. This allows us to understand and predict wind speed with high accuracy, at higher altitudes, far more cost-effectively than is possible with traditional wind measurement methods.
“We’re excited to combine our decades of experience in offshore metocean measurement with this cutting-edge technology in support of next generation energy projects.”
RPS will analyse the Floating LiDAR data it collects for the Equinor site study in tandem with information from its directional wave buoys, current meters and existing comparison data to inform power generation calculations and future turbine array engineering, installation and maintenance planning.
“Europe has been the early adopter when it comes to offshore wind and is much further down the path towards mainstream generation. But in places like the United States, Asia and Australia it really is the next exciting frontier,” says Burling.
“Offshore wind represents a golden opportunity to diversify the global energy mix through high-yield, low impact infrastructure and RPS is excited to be able to generate the data that organisations like Equinor need to cross the frontier with confidence.”
Enquiries: Lauren Bonser, Communications Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org +61 7 3237 8858.
07 June 2018