Timmons Group and its team members were selected in March 2014 by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to develop a proof of concept for a commercial wide-area metocean and environmental monitoring program. The main reason for the project is to integrate previously collected marine mammal and sea turtle data near the Virginia Wind Energy Area (WEA) and to lower the cost of energy from offshore wind.
Team members include the technical expertise and capabilities of AWS Truepower, AXYS Technologies, Northstar Marine, Cornell University, Versar-Geomarine, The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and the Center for Conservation Biology.
The proof of concept will demonstrate that this mobile, fully instrumented, self-elevating vessel and platform is capable of safely and cost-effectively providing the necessary structure and power to host multiple data collection tools. It will also demonstrate the accuracy and effectiveness of state-of-the-art remote sensing data collection tools, focusing on Lidar and radar technologies.
The current methods of data collection are insufficient due to budget constraints, weather conditions, and lack of visual coverage. Our team will evaluate the feasibility of a self-elevating fixed platform design to lower the cost of obtaining met ocean and environmental data for pre-construction site characterization. The project will also provide the first comprehensive blending and analysis of North Atlantic right whale data in their migratory corridor.
Wind energy stakeholders in the UK are also interested in the project activity in the wind energy industry taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia. See the article published in the Offshore Wind Journal’s second quarter 2014 publication.