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Offshore Wind in the Great Lakes . NAME Great Lakes Wind Collaborative DATE. Technical Details. Turbine Size. 2.5MW Turbine: 75-100m (246-328ft) hub height 3MW: 100-120m (328-394ft) hub height. Compared to onshore, offshore turbines…. Tend to be larger, but shorter.

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Offshore Wind in the Great Lakes

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offshore wind in the great lakes

Offshore Wind in the Great Lakes


Great Lakes Wind Collaborative


turbine size
Turbine Size
  • 2.5MW Turbine: 75-100m (246-328ft) hub height
  • 3MW: 100-120m (328-394ft) hub height
compared to onshore offshore turbines
Compared to onshore, offshore turbines…
  • Tend to be larger, but shorter.
  • Require helipads or landings for maintenance activities.
  • Have a designated area for maintenance workers.
  • Are built to withstand waves, currents, and ice formation.
  • Might use Conditional Monitoring Systems.
  • Might have more redundant systems.
  • House the transformer in the nacelle.

30 meters wide

130 meters long

48 meter legs can extend

5 meters into the lakebed

installation vessels
Installation Vessels
  • St. Lawrence
    • Max draft: 26.5 ft (should be min?)
    • Max beam: 78 ft
  • Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
    • Max draft: 7 ft (should be min?)
    • Max beam: 110 ft
  • 3-30 meters.
  • Technology based on onshore.
  • Three kinds: gravity, monopile, suction bucket/caisson
  • Loadings unique to the offshore environment:
    • Wave loading
    • Static and dynamic ice loading
    • Water currents
  • Require more analysis and modeling to understand the impact to the foundation
suction bucket or caisson
Suction Bucket or Caisson
  • Tubular steel foundation installed by sealing the top of the steel bucket and creating a vacuum inside.
  • Hydrostatic pressure difference and the dead weight of the structure cause the bucket to penetrate the soil.
  • New technology.
  • Shallow water
gravity base foundations
Gravity Base Foundations
  • Steel or concrete foundations
    • Steel is lighter and normally filled with granular material.
    • Concrete is heavier – handling can be difficult.
  • Relies on weight of structure to resist overturning
  • Ballast added after placement
  • Shallow water with proper lakebed preparation essential
  • conical collars (ice cones)
  • Might be cost prohibitive in 15+ meters
monopile foundations
Monopile Foundations
  • Large, thick-walled, single steel pipe
    • 4.5 - 6 m diameter steel tube typical
    • Wall thickness 30 -60 mm
  • Driven or drilled 25 -30 m embedment
    • Water depth experience to 25 m
  • Stiff soils only (e.g. sand)
  • Most common type, especially in shallow water.
  • Minimal footprint
  • Large barges, specialized equipment.
  • Ice cones
  • Transition pieces can be steel, concrete, or composite.
conical collars ice cones
Conical collars / ice cones
  • Conical shaped structures at water level.
  • Cones cause ice to bend and break up.
  • Ice thickness:
    • Nearshore Lake Michigan: 0 to 0.5 meters
    • Deepwater Lake Michigan: 0 to .15 meters
    • Lake Superior: .05 to .8 meters
    • Green Bay: .2 to .7 meters
  • Voltage is stepped up to distribution voltage (25-35 kV) using a transformer at each turbine.
  • Turbines are then connected to an offshore substation.
  • Substation steps up to transmission voltage (400-800 kV)
  • One cable connects to the mainland.
  • Can be several medium voltage cables (34.5 kV), or one or more high (100-200 kW) or extra high voltage (>200 kV) cables.
    • Redundant cables built in in case of failure
  • Higher voltage cables require insulation
    • self-contained, fluid-filled (SCFF) cable
    • Fluid biodegrades in 30-60 days if there is a leek.
  • Buried in the lake bed
    • 6 to 10 feet
    • Jet plow rolls and fluidizes the lake bottom material in a narrow path.
    • Sand or clay bottoms.
  • Laid on the lake bottom
    • Water jets create a trench and bottom material is allowed to sink back into the trench
    • Rocky bottoms at deeper depths
  • Issues to consider:
    • Overhead lake traffic
    • ice scouring
    • Disruption of lakebed and stirring up of pollution
  • Cable can be covered with concrete mattresses or rock.
  • Horizontal directional boring to pull the cable to shore.
environmental considerations29
Environmental Considerations
  • Bird & Bat
  • Fish
  • Lakebed Alterations
  • Habitat Alterations
  • Noise
bird bat
Bird & Bat
  • Risk of collision/barotrauma
  • Short-term habitat loss during construction
  • Long-term habitat loss due to disturbance by O&M
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Formation of barriers to migration and daily movements
fisheries research
Fisheries Research
  • Research on aquatic habitat and spawning grounds focused on the nearshore.
  • less research on the open water.
  • Most research related to the effects of wind turbines is marine-focused.
  • Habitat disruption more likely during transmission installation.
    • Frac-outs: excessive pressure causes the vertical release of drilling mud through fractures.
  • Most commercial and recreation fishing takes place within 3 miles of shore.
fisheries research32
Fisheries Research
  • Foundations will likely provide additional habitat for some beneficial fishes for possibly food, shelter from predation, nursery areas and spawning.
    • Lake trout will spawn on artificial reefs within a few months of construction
    • yellow perch and smallmouth bass were observed using the artificial reefs located within the study area.
  • Might provide additional recreational fishing opportunities.
  • Might cause an increase in the species richness, abundance or biomass of the benthic community.

Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force. 2008. Great Lakes Wind Energy Center Feasibility Study: Initial Ecological Assessment. Prepared by DLZ. September.

fisheries best practices
Fisheries Best Practices
  • If turbines are built in spawning areas, foundation materials should mimic the substrate.
  • If not in these areas, planners should consider materials that are conductive to spawning.
  • Construction and maintenance should avoid spawning times.
  • Fishing activities in general should avoid turbines.
habitat fragmentation disruption
Habitat Fragmentation/Disruption
  • No evidence of any detrimental effects on coastal processes from the Danish experience.
  • Numerous turbines could affect direction or velocity of currents, plankton, sediment, nutrients, and fish.
  • Noise from wind turbines will travel underwater and could disturb aquatic organisms.
  • Studies from existing offshore turbines note that the noise is very low frequency, and many species are actually unable to hear it.
  • Noise from construction activities could disrupt organisms in the short-term.
u s federal involvement
U.S. Federal Involvement
  • Rivers and Harbors Act, Section 10
    • Prohibits the obstruction or alteration of navigable water of the U.S without a permit.
    • Army Corps of Engineers is the lead permitting agency (MMS is the lead on the Outer Continental Shelf)
  • Martin v. Waddell
    • states own navigable and tidal waters and their underlying land for the common use of the people of the state.
u s federal involvement39
U.S. Federal Involvement
  • Submerged Lands Act
    • Great Lakes states have jurisdiction up to the international boundaries.
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
    • CZM Programs should include “a planning process for energy facilities likely to be located in, or which may significantly affect, the coastal zone, including a process for anticipating the management of the impacts resulting from such facilities.”
ohio criteria
Ohio Criteria
  • Shipping lanes, fairways, harbors
  • Distance from shore
  • Raptor nests
  • Important bird areas
  • Natural heritage observances
  • Fish habitat and bathymetry
  • Reefs and shoals
  • Substrates
  • Sand and gravel mining
  • Military zones
  • Confirmed shipwrecks
  • Sport fishery effort
  • Commercial fishery trap net lifts

Construction 2012-13

ontario criteria
Ontario Criteria
  • National/Provincial Park
  • Protected area
  • Water depth 5 m <X< 30 m
  • Wind speed > 8.0 m/s
  • Airports
  • Radiocommunication Systems
  • Population density
  • Distance from shore
  • Commercial waterway and ferry route
  • Protected shipwreck
  • Submerged utility line
  • Shoreline
  • Great Lakes coastal wetland
  • Conservation reserve
  • Environmental Area of Concern
  • Important Birding Areas
michigan dry run
Michigan Dry Run
  • Examined Michigan’s current state of readiness to permit large-scale offshore wind facilities
  • Two different areas of the Great Lakes
    • nearshore Lake Huron
    • remote offshore Lake Michigan
  • Final Report published May 2008
  • GLOW Council
great lakes offshore wind council
Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council
  • created by Executive Order No. 2009-1
  • serves as an advisory body within the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG)
  • Identify criteria that can be used to review applications for offshore wind development.
  • Identify criteria for identifying and mapping areas that should be categorically excluded from offshore wind development as well as those areas that are most favorable to such development
  • September 1, 2009

great lakes offshore wind council also tasked to
Great Lakes Offshore Wind CouncilAlso tasked to…
  • Recommend a process for engaging stakeholders
  • Summarize lessons learned from American and international offshore experience
  • Identify options for compensating the public for bottomland leasing and wind rights for wind energy systems
  • Make recommendations for legislation and for changes in administrative rules and policies related to the siting and development of offshore wind energy systems
  • Make a recommendation as to whether Michigan should support the preparation of a programmatic environmental impact statement by the federal government for permitting offshore wind development in the Great Lakes basin
  • Provide an estimate of the costs and description of the benefits of continuing the work of the council, if the council deems it advisable
wind working groups
Wind Working Groups
  • Came out of Wind Powering America initiative, within the Department of Energy.
  • Commitment to dramatically increase the use of wind energy.
  • Wind Working Groups are organization whose purposes are to promote wind energy generally.
  • Each one is different.
  • IL, IN, MI, OH, PA
great lakes wind collaborative
Great Lakes Wind Collaborative

Multi-sector coalition of wind energy stakeholders working to facilitate the sustainable development of wind power in the binational Great Lakes region.

5 Workgroups: Offshore; Transmission; Economic Development; Wind Atlas; and Environmental Planning, Siting, and Permitting

thanks questions
Thanks! Questions?