US to Study Shared Landfall and Onshore Cable Locations for Offshore Wind

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC) has contracted wind energy consultancy OWC to research coordinating use of transmission to allow multiple offshore wind projects to use the same landfall location and potentially the same onshore corridor.

Under a contract worth USD 240,000 (around EUR 225,000), OWC will perform the “Shared Landfall and Onshore Cable Infrastructure for Cable Co-Location Feasibility Study” to address cable landfall and onshore constraint issues related to the expected growth in the number of new offshore wind farms in the US.

The project will involve OWC identifying a reference project as the basis of the study, such as two or three potential New York Bight projects, which will be discussed with stakeholders such as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and wind farm developers.

The consultancy will then develop a concept case design for shared landfall and onshore infrastructure to accommodate and co-locate third party export cables, supported with design drawings. The concept case will then be fully costed to feasibility level and the LCOE compared to the base case without this shared infrastructure.

Some of the issues that could be addressed by co-locating landfalls and onshore cable routes for more than one offshore wind farm are the environmental and cost-related impacts that come with installation of this infrastructure, according to OWC.

“For example, transmission cables from offshore wind farms along the U.S. East Coast are likely to make landfall in congested and environmentally sensitive areas where space is scarce and ample constraints exist, causing conflicts between projects and leading to increased project costs and schedules especially for later projects”, OWC writes.

For onshore cable infrastructure, the consultancy said issues were the cost of onshore cable installation in the US and its environmental disturbance from construction works, as well as potential permitting schedule risks, increased costs, and in a worst-case scenario, potential permit approval denial.

“NOWRDC recognizes that onshore and landfall cable constraints are a key barrier for offshore wind. Our idea is an approach for shared infrastructure to accommodate and co-locate cables at landfall and key onshore transmission corridors to increase cost efficiency and de-risk this element for projects. The aim is to develop a conceptual design for landfall and onshore cable infrastructure that could be shared by two or more different projects”, said Jeff Fodiak, OWC’s country manager in the U.S. and head of grid and electrical services for the wider OWC group.

ITPEnergised, Power Advisory, Continuum Associates, and Prospect Hill Consulting will support OWC, part of AqualisBraemar LOC, in performing the study.

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