Ecologically Sound Offshore Wind Development
CSS designed and implemented this integrated data acquisition, data management, and statistical predictive modeling to select optimal wind farm locations while minimally impacting seabirds.
The Issue: Pursuing the potential to harness offshore wind and deliver clean energy is a national priority as wind energy off the US coasts promises a steady source of power. Key to the success of offshore wind development is understanding the complexity of the ocean environment, it’s many uses, and having the knowledge to determine what areas of the ocean are most suitable for harnessing and transporting wind energy prior to investing substantial funds into supporting infrastructure.
The Solution: CSS delivers cutting edge spatial intelligence to support renewable energy siting by curating and synthesizing hundreds of complex oceanographic data layers, as well as data related to fisheries, protected species, shipping, and other natural and man-made resources. CSS develops geospatial models to analyze these data and deliver comprehensive maps and reports characterizing the suitability of ocean areas for renewable energy siting.
CSS Innovations and Contributions: CSS supports a diversity of requirements for wind energy research, assessment, and development. We support efforts to assess and minimize the impacts of offshore wind activities on endangered or threatened species, marine mammals, fisheries, marine habitats, the fishing industry, and related coastal communities. We have prepared documentation to meet regulatory requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA).
Key Technical Services
- Marine statistical and spatial ecology
- Biogeographic and ecological assessments
- Socio-economic studies including impacts from offshore wind development
- Habitat characterization and seafloor mapping
- Essential fish habitat surveys
- Species-habitat use models
- Developing Agency reports, GIS data packages, web maps, and related products and web-based data visualization tools
- Regulatory documentation for NEPA, ESA, and MSA
Examples of CSS Contributions include:
- Predictive Modeling/Spatial Planning, NY Bight
- Seafloor Substrate Mapping and Model Validation of Offshore Wind Sites
- Social Values Relative to Wind Energy
- Regulatory Documentation Development
- Biogeographic Assessment of the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) Wind Energy Area Siting Analysis for the Gulf of Mexico Call Area