AWS Truepower and Duke Energy Collaborate on Carolinas Offshore Wind Integration Case Study

AWS Truepower, LLC, an international leader in renewable energy consulting and information services, has been selected to collaborate on the Carolinas Offshore Wind Integration Case Study with Duke Energy, ABB Inc., National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC).

The project is funded by the Department of Energy and designed to gain valuable knowledge about the benefits and challenges associated with developing offshore wind generation facilities in the waters off the coasts of North and South Carolina. The results will be critical to making rational policy and commercial decisions related to offshore wind.

“AWS Truepower is pleased to bring our proprietary 200-meter offshore wind maps and numerical weather prediction models into practice for the Carolinas Study,” stated Ken Pennock, Forecasting Business Manager at AWS Truepower. “As a leader in renewable data simulation and evaluation, we have over a decade of experience developing and employing high-resolution models to provide essential information for myriad stakeholders charged with planning and integrating large quantities of renewable energy into the grid.”

The Carolinas Offshore Wind Integration Case Study will assess viable wind deployment sites, evaluate the impact of development of three different amounts of installed offshore wind generation capacity, evaluate the effect of various collection and interconnection technologies and methods, and assess the operational impacts to Duke Energy Carolinas electric power system. The results of this study will provide utility planners, industry participants, and policy makers with new information to make informed decisions related to offshore wind development. For key stakeholders, such as utility planners, the information will help with system additions and operational changes needed to accommodate development.
Industry participants will review cost, timing, preparations and suitability of specific sites for offshore wind development, and policy makers will receive detailed information about the costs and system impacts of offshore wind.

AWS Truepower’s primary role is to create wind generation profiles for hypothetical offshore wind farms.  This will be accomplished through the firm’s proprietary site selection algorithm which selects likely locations for
offshore wind farm development and simulates the potential project build out.  The selection process will build on work previously performed by UNC.  The firm’s numerical weather prediction models will then be used to simulate
multiple years of wind and weather profiles which will be converted into energy output profiles at each simulated offshore site.

The study will help quantify the likely impact to consumers from necessary operational changes and system upgrades to integrate offshore wind energy.
It also provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate how offshore wind can enable a region with relatively poor onshore resources, like the Carolinas,meet their renewable portfolio standards (RPS).