The purpose of this tool is to provide an easy to use, all inclusive tool to examine the environmental effects of offshore wind development. The goal being to streamline and facilitate the siting and permitting of offshore wind farms in the U.S. The Zephyrus tool will identify the highest environmental risks by 1) providing a science-based system to evaluate risk information, and making that information available to all parties; 2) developing risk analysis tools and applying them to identify environmental risks associated with offshore wind development; and 3) providing offshore wind developers, regulators, and stakeholders with in depth information as background for permitting discussions.
Previous approaches to addressing offshore wind development impacts, in Europe and North America, have been developed to satisfy regulatory requirements, including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) in the U.S. However, such sector-by-sector studies do not provide the integrated spectrum of information that decision makers and stakeholders need to capture the actual risks of offshore wind energy development. Regulators and stakeholders need access to information and procedures that systematically and consistently identify risk and uncertainties in order to make risk-informed decisions; this information will support financing, planning, operating and regulating of offshore wind farms.