Technical Integrity / Collaboration / Exceptional Results

New “Risk Map” Tools for Offshore Wind Farms


Results from an offshore wind installation stability model framework applied to a case study in Newport, Oregon. The figure shows predictions of scour depth for a 6-m diameter pile placed at any location in the model framework domain.

Understanding ocean and seafloor conditions is essential to reducing the cost of wind energy.  Before wind farms are sited, the risks and effects of installation are modeled and assessed to optimize wind farm design, reduce capital cost, and enhance safety. On March 13, 2018, Integral Principal Craig Jones, Ph.D. will discuss a new combination of tools that can lead to better characterization of the offshore environment. Dr. Jones will present during the California Offshore Wind Energy Summit in Sacramento, California, organized by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust—a nonprofit organization committed to the responsible development of marine renewable energy. Integral Senior Consultant Grace Chang, Ph.D., will also attend the summit.

Using focused modeling, the approach involves mapping of seabed scour potential and providing developers with valuable planning, design, and evaluation tools for the siting and development of offshore wind power arrays. Seabed scour—when seabed material erodes at a structure—can occur from forces caused by wave and currents. Scour impacts the performance of infrastructure such as cables and piles, and can cause substantial cost increases. With the new technology, maps that show areas of scour potential are developed and can be used during the planning process, allowing for upfront protection and lower cost installation. Quantitative tools can also be linked to provide a deeper understanding of large scale site processes.

Learn more.

For more information, contact Dr. Jones at

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