Latham-based alternative energy company AWS Truepower is part of a consortium that is looking how to best harvest energy from winds sweeping in from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island.
AWS Truepower will be helping to analyze wind speed data being collected by Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island-based company that is studying a potential 210-megawatt wind farm – the equivalent of about half of a traditional fossil-fuel power plant – in the ocean off Montauk at the eastern tip of Long Island. The turbine project is among proposals being considered by the Long Island Power Authority.
AWS President Bruce Bailey said his office will be crunching data from two wind monitoring devices, known as Light Detecting and Ranging systems (LIDAR), installed by Deepwater Wind at Stony Brook University on the North Shore of Long Island and on Block Island in the ocean about 14 miles east of Montauk.
Bailey said the units, which use beams of infrared light to measure winds, will be kept in place for at least a year, recording speed and direction. Findings will “make it easier to model wind conditions for the Long Island/Atlantic region, making for more accurate projections where future wind projects are being considered,” he said.
LIDAR is an improvement over traditional methods of measuring offshore winds by using sensors mounting on floating buoys, said Bailey. Those sensors typically capture measurements that reach about 20 feet into the air. In comparison, LIDAR can measure winds at the 350-foot level, which is the height of current wind turbines.
“This special alliance will accelerate our understanding of how offshore wind farms can meaningfully add to the mix of energy resources,” Bailey said, adding, “As a firm that has worked closely with developers, utilities, and government agencies, we fully appreciate what this unique opportunity can mean for Long Island, for New York State, and for a nation that seeks to tap into every viable resource and move closer to reliable energy independence.”
AWS Truepower is one the Capital Region’s oldest alternative energy planning companies. Founded by Bailey some three decades ago, it helps develop wind and solar energy projects and has worked in more than 30 states, as well as 60 countries.
With offices in Spain, Brazil and India, the company also has partnerships with similar alternative energy companies in Turkey and Poland.
Deepwater Wind is developing several other wind projects off the eastern seaboard, including:
A 1,000-megawatt project about 30 miles east of Montauk.
A 1,000-megawatt project about 20 miles offshore from Ocean City, N.J.
A 30-megawatt project about 3 miles southeast of Block Island.
“This brings together the best science from a world-class research university with the resources of a leading offshore wind developer and the knowledge of one of the world’s most respected wind consultants,” said Brian Colle, a professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook.
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