US Offshore Wind Guidance Accelerates Development of the US Offshore Wind Industry
The successful approval of new wind power guidance is considered the high point of a five-year effort by an industry-based standards initiative formed in 2017 under the ACP Offshore Wind Subcommittee. The guidance report is the American Clean Power Association’s Offshore Compliance Recommended Practices: 2022 Edition (OCRP-1-2022). It highlights the ability to quicken the development of the offshore wind industry and shorten regulatory timelines, all the while improving worker safety.
“This could become one of the primary guidance documents for the development of offshore wind energy on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf and could lead to shorter regulatory timelines and increased worker safety,” said Walt Musial, offshore wind research lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the chair of the ACP Offshore Wind Subcommittee under which the initiative was formed.
OCRP-1-2022 covers all stages of offshore wind farm development. Design, manufacturing and fabrication, transportation and installation, operations and in-service inspections, and life-cycle planning are integral systems covered here.
“These recommended practices cover a broader scope than anything previously available to the offshore wind energy industry,” Musial said. “Although OCRP-1-2022 leans heavily on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s standards, it covers the entire life cycle of the project, from design of the turbine and substructure to end-of-life decommissioning. Regulators hold responsibility for all stages of development—from cradle to grave—and we’ve now provided them more comprehensive guidance in one document.”
NREL shares that this is the first compilation of its kind. It was a monumental effort. “The U.S. Offshore Wind Standards Initiative is a collaboration led by NREL, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Business Network for Offshore Wind, ACP, and ANSI. The subcommittee comprises more than 300 members from various offshore wind industry sectors.”
“These recommended practices cover a broader scope than anything previously available to the offshore wind energy industry,” Musial said. “Although OCRP-1-2022 leans heavily on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s standards, it covers the entire life cycle of the project, from design of the turbine and substructure to end-of-life decommissioning. Regulators hold responsibility for all stages of development — from cradle to grave — and we’ve now provided them more comprehensive guidance in one document.”
OCRP-1-2022 is the first of five documents to be published. It was written by a consensus-based group of more than 100 offshore wind energy industry members. Rain Byars, the technical and delivery director for Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind (a partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America), co-chaired with Graham Cranston, a DNV project manager and principal structural engineer.
The new guidance respects and maintains the pre-established ANSI/ACP consensus standards development process. “OCRP-1-2022 is an essential component to meeting the goal, providing common guidance, removing guesswork, and enabling required federal permitting design documents to be more quickly developed. This should help reduce overall permitting timeframes and put turbines in the water faster to help avert the climate crisis,” Liz Burdock, Business Network for Offshore Wind president and CEO, said.
One of a Series of Five
The first of five offshore wind energy recommended-practice documents to be published, OCRP-1-2022 is the overarching flagship document for the U.S. Offshore Wind Standards Initiative. Thus, it is a strong step to provide transparency, consistency, and certainty to the U.S. offshore wind energy industry’s regulatory process.
Four additional guidance documents will address specific topics, representing the rest of a comprehensive set of consensus-based guidelines under ANSI/ACP rules, including:
- Floating offshore wind energy
- Meteorological and oceanographic data requirements
- Geotechnical and geophysical requirements for offshore wind energy technologies
- Minimum requirements for submarine cables.
NREL continues, “The combined, the five guidance documents will facilitate safe designs and the orderly deployment of U.S. offshore wind energy by accounting for unique U.S. geophysical, administrative, and environmental constraints, providing the U.S. Department of the Interior with recommendations for industry best practices.”
The four companion documents are scheduled for public review and ANSI approval later in 2022.
Related story: Biden–Harris Admin — New Actions To Expand U.S. Offshore Wind Energy
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