Fishermen’s Energy Uses Lockheed Martin’s WindTracer LIDAR Device (USA)

Fishermen’s Energy Uses Lockheed Martin's WindTracer LIDAR Device (USA)

Fishermen’s Energy announced that they have completed another significant step in building what may be the first offshore windfarm in the United States.

Early in November, a team of Fishermen’s engineers and specialists from Lockheed Martin installed a sophisticated wind measurement device on the rooftop of a seaside apartment building in Margate, New Jersey. Typically used at major airports to detect wind shear and turbulence for aircraft operations, this is the first application of the WindTracer® Doppler lidar in support of offshore windfarm development.

“We appreciate the support of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in co-funding this offshore wind meteorological program,” said Aviv Goldsmith, Fishermen’s Energy Managing Director. “Fishermen’s is working on several fronts to reduce the long-term cost of offshore wind for the benefit of New Jersey electricity customers. Our meteorological assessment program is one and our proposed 25 MW demonstration offshore wind farm is another,” Goldsmith continued.

Currently deployed around the world, WindTracer is a commercially available, proven product that is used for airport wind monitoring, defense and security applications, wind energy development, and meteorological research. WindTracer provides a sizeable hemisphere of wind speeds and directions with samples approximately every 300 feet (100 meters), every few minutes, up to a 20 mile range.

 “The long measurement range of WindTracer allows it to survey offshore wind farm sites from the shore, thereby saving the high cost of erecting offshore platforms for anemometers and other sensors,” said Mike Margulis, WindTracer program director at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “Fisherman’s Energy is using a suite of software tools we’ve developed that analyze the data from WindTracer in the context of wind farm site assessment.”

From its roof top location in Margate, the WindTracer will continuously record wind speed and direction over the ocean at Fishermen’s planned wind farm sites, and onshore, where the team has installed a series of meteorological towers. WindTracer data will provide extensive wind resource prospecting and accurate forecasts for turbine siting. Operating continually, the system is monitored and controlled from the Fishermen’s Energy office in Atlantic City.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the nation’s environmental and economic potential depends on our ability to define sustainable energy resources for the future,” said Patrick Hoosay, Associate Professor of Sustainability, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. “This installation represents an important step in New Jersey’s most promising and innovative efforts to do just that. We’re thrilled to have Stockton students and faculty working in partnership with Fishermen’s Energy on this effort,” Hoosay continued.

“The WindTracer system could prove to be the most cost-effective monitoring technology for offshore wind resource assessments,” said Rich Dunk, Rutgers, Director, Coastal/Offshore Alternative Energy Applications. “The system will also provide the necessary wind and turbulence parameters that will enhance the accuracy and reliability of offshore weather forecasts, which are needed to support wind turbine array construction and subsequent operational procedures,” Dunk commented.

The installation of this technology reinforces New Jersey’s role as the U.S. leader in offshore windfarm planning, and marks another major achievement for the Fishermen’s Energy team.


Offshore WIND staff, December 06, 2011; Image: lockheedmartin