This chapter talks about offshore wind farms, what they are, and how they could impact the development of wind energy both in the United States and worldwide. The first variable in determining the economics of both offshore and onshore wind is to estimate the annual energy production from the wind power plant. In some respects, wind resource measurement and turbine output estimation is simpler offshore because of the uniform topography over the sea surface. Integration of offshore wind farms may be easier than onshore wind farms, especially in the United States, depending on how the timing of the output of the turbine coincides with peak load requirements of the regional utility. There are a number of environmental impacts that have to be considered for offshore wind turbine installations. Due to their coastal location, offshore wind farms are exposed to the risk of hurricanes.
This is a book chapter in Wind Energy Essentials: Societal, Economic, and Environmental Impacts.