DOE WindSentinel Buoy in Full Swing off New Jersey

Ocean Tech Services (OTS) has deployed an AXYS WindSentinel buoy based LIDAR system near offshore wind development areas along the coast of New Jersey as part of a contract to install, operate and maintain the buoy for a 1-year data collection mission signed with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

OTS relocated the buoy from Port Angeles, Washington, to their staging facility in Avalon, New Jersey, where it underwent preparation and predeployment testing.

On 4 November 2015 PNNL gave the green light and the buoy was deployed offshore where final commissioning was completed. The WindSentinel is now operating at full capacity and transmitting data to shore every 10-minutes.

The buoy, one of two owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is equipped with a validated Vindicator Gen III LIDAR to provide wind speed and direction profiles to an altitude of 200 meters above the water surface. The buoy is also outfitted with a full suite of meteorological and oceanographic sensors.

“OTS has been operating WindSentinel buoys since 2012 when we launched our first system for offshore wind developer Fishermen’s Energy,” Stephen O’Malley, President of Ocean Tech, said.

”Since that time we have been working closely with AXYS Technologies and top wind resource firms to advance along the roadmap for acceptance of buoyed LIDAR measurements and to expand our capabilities for deploying and operating these complex devices. By operating a network of these systems at key locations, the DOE buoy program will help to reduce uncertainties and advance offshore wind development in the United States. We are excited to work with the DOE and PNNL on this program.”

There is currently a lack of long-term wind observations at wind turbine rotor plane heights in U.S. offshore waters, according to OTS. The DOE Wind Water and Power Technologies Office procured the WindSentinel buoys for deployment at locations determined by research and development needs.

Data collected by these buoys will be available to interested users, and access to these data sets is expected to enhance public and industry understanding of offshore wind resources in the U.S.