skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: How many offshore wind turbines does New England need?

Abstract

The proliferation of countries and regions with 100% clean or renewable energy targets necessitates an analysis to determine the number of generating units and storage needed to meet real-time electricity demand on the electric grid. The coastal areas of New England have the capacity to produce a large percentage of the region's energy needs with offshore wind turbines. Here we model offshore wind turbine power production data using MERRA-2 reanalysis and lidar wind speed data sets. We compare this power production to the New England hourly grid demand over the course of one year. 2,000 10 MW offshore wind turbines could satisfy New England's grid demand for about 37% of the year. When combined with 55 GWh of storage, 2,000 turbines could satisfy grid demand for about 72% of the year.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Colorado—Boulder Boulder Colorado
  2. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences University of Colorado—Boulder Boulder Colorado, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Golden Colorado
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Wind Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1735668
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1760653; OSTI ID: 1786600
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5000-77226
Journal ID: ISSN 1350-4827
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Meteorological Applications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Meteorological Applications Journal Volume: 27 Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1350-4827
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; offshore wind energy; New England; modeling; renewable energy; electrical demand; grid; lidar; reanalysis; storage; wind energy

Citation Formats

Livingston, Hannah G., and Lundquist, Julie K.. How many offshore wind turbines does New England need?. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1969.
Livingston, Hannah G., & Lundquist, Julie K.. How many offshore wind turbines does New England need?. United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1969
Livingston, Hannah G., and Lundquist, Julie K.. Sun . "How many offshore wind turbines does New England need?". United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1969.
@article{osti_1735668,
title = {How many offshore wind turbines does New England need?},
author = {Livingston, Hannah G. and Lundquist, Julie K.},
abstractNote = {The proliferation of countries and regions with 100% clean or renewable energy targets necessitates an analysis to determine the number of generating units and storage needed to meet real-time electricity demand on the electric grid. The coastal areas of New England have the capacity to produce a large percentage of the region's energy needs with offshore wind turbines. Here we model offshore wind turbine power production data using MERRA-2 reanalysis and lidar wind speed data sets. We compare this power production to the New England hourly grid demand over the course of one year. 2,000 10 MW offshore wind turbines could satisfy New England's grid demand for about 37% of the year. When combined with 55 GWh of storage, 2,000 turbines could satisfy grid demand for about 72% of the year.},
doi = {10.1002/met.1969},
journal = {Meteorological Applications},
number = 6,
volume = 27,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1969

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development
journal, November 2018


Effects of climate oscillations on wind resource variability in the United States
journal, January 2015

  • Hamlington, B. D.; Hamlington, P. E.; Collins, S. G.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062370

Modelling and measuring flow and wind turbine wakes in large wind farms offshore
journal, July 2009

  • Barthelmie, R. J.; Hansen, K.; Frandsen, S. T.
  • Wind Energy, Vol. 12, Issue 5, p. 431-444
  • DOI: 10.1002/we.348

U.S. East Coast Lidar Measurements Show Offshore Wind Turbines Will Encounter Very Low Atmospheric Turbulence
journal, May 2019

  • Bodini, Nicola; Lundquist, Julie K.; Kirincich, Anthony
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082636

The ERA5 global reanalysis
journal, June 2020

  • Hersbach, Hans; Bell, Bill; Berrisford, Paul
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 146, Issue 730
  • DOI: 10.1002/qj.3803

Meteorological conditions leading to extreme low variable renewable energy production and extreme high energy shortfall
journal, September 2019

  • van der Wiel, K.; Stoop, L. P.; van Zuijlen, B. R. H.
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 111
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.04.065

A Surface Wind Extremes (“Wind Lulls” and “Wind Blows”) Climatology for Central North America and Adjoining Oceans (1979–2012)
journal, March 2015

  • Malloy, Jonny W.; Krahenbuhl, Daniel S.; Bush, Chad E.
  • Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 54, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0009.1

Strategies for correlating solar PV array production with electricity demand
journal, April 2015


Assessing variability of wind speed: comparison and validation of 27 methodologies
journal, January 2018

  • Lee, Joseph C. Y.; Fields, M. Jason; Lundquist, Julie K.
  • Wind Energy Science, Vol. 3, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/wes-3-845-2018

Using bias-corrected reanalysis to simulate current and future wind power output
journal, November 2016


Offshore wind speed estimates from a high-resolution rapidly updating numerical weather prediction model forecast dataset
journal, December 2017

  • James, Eric P.; Benjamin, Stanley G.; Marquis, Melinda
  • Wind Energy, Vol. 21, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/we.2161

The Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit
journal, August 2015


ERA5: The new champion of wind power modelling?
journal, October 2018


A Metocean Reference Station for Offshore Wind Energy Research in the U.S.
journal, January 2020


Characterizing marine atmospheric boundary layer to support offshore wind energy research
journal, January 2020


How much bulk energy storage is needed to decarbonize electricity?
journal, January 2015

  • Safaei, Hossein; Keith, David W.
  • Energy & Environmental Science, Vol. 8, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01452B

Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set
journal, July 2019

  • Lee, Jared A.; Doubrawa, Paula; Xue, Lulin
  • Energies, Vol. 12, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.3390/en12142780

Quantifying the increasing sensitivity of power systems to climate variability
journal, December 2016


An offshore wind resource assessment study for New England
journal, October 2002


MERRA: NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications
journal, July 2011