AWS Truepower and Duke Energy Collaborate on Carolinas Offshore Wind Power Study

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

The wind farm project is funded by the Department of Energy and designed to gain valuable knowledge about the benefits and challenges associated with developing offshore wind energy 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 energy.

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 turbines 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 farm 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 farm development, and policy makers will receive detailed information about the costs and system impacts of offshore wind turbines.

‘Our goal is to fully understand how the abundant wind resource off the coast of the Carolinas – and North Carolina, in particular – can help reshape our long-term energy outlook,’ said Duke Energy Vice President Christopher Fallon. ‘We’ve assembled a project team with tremendous expertise and talent, and we look forward to sharing the results of our study with interested parties in the Carolinas and throughout the country.’

AWS Truepower’s primary role is to create wind energy 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.

‘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 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 energy can enable a region with relatively poor onshore resources, like the Carolinas, meet their renewable portfolio standards (RPS).

AWS Truepower provides the most accurate, reliable, and innovative renewable energy project development and operations solutions available today. Energy developers, investors, utilities, system operators, and governments rely on the company’s 30 years of experience, proven science, and technology to reduce uncertainty, mitigate risk, and maximize return on their investments. Headquartered in New York, AWS Truepower has offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers located in five states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 12 million people.

The company’s growing portfolio of non-regulated, commercial renewable assets includes 10 wind farms and 11 solar power farms in operation in eight states, totaling approximately 1,000 megawatts in electric-generating capacity.