WINDCUBE Lidar Starts Collecting Wind Data Off Massachusetts

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), working with AWS Truepower of Albany, New York, has installed a WINDCUBE vertical profiling lidar at WHOI’s Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO), located two miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in the Outer Continental Shelf.

Funding for the installation was provided by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) as part of its Metocean Initiative, designed to advance the planning and permitting of offshore wind energy in the region while reducing cost.

Renewable NRG Systems supplied the lidar and will perform biennial maintenance services from its headquarters in Hinesburg, Vermont.

Located in a fixed position on the MVCO’s Air-Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) platform, the WINDCUBE will provide a continuous record of the wind resource across the full vertical rotor span of wind turbines used in offshore wind farms.

The collected data will be used for validation and improvement of existing wind models, as well as to increase industry and regulatory confidence in the value of the wind resources off Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The WINDCUBE will also serve as a reference in the future for validating floating lidars that could be deployed within nearby commercial wind energy areas to provide bankable, on-site data for project development purposes.

“Massachusetts’ forward-looking and targeted investments in research and infrastructure have made it the epicenter of the offshore wind industry in the United States,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike.

“This data is essential to developers as they plan construction of their projects, making partnerships like this one with RNRG and AWS Truepower critical to the growth of the Massachusetts and U.S. markets.”