Managing offshore wind farms: Offshore Decision Support Systems

Sound planning of offshore wind farms is not an easy task at all. It is a great challenge to find your way in between project developers, permission authorities, share holders like fishermen and military, and the environment. In order to support this task, a study about decision support systems for offshore wind farms has been carried out. In the work focus were two main issues: identifying of systems which already exist, and assessment of the requirements for future development.

The according study investigates and reports on potentials of the application of software and decision support (SDS) systems in the course of the planning and realization processes of offshore wind energy farms in the North Sea Region.

Main goal of the study is to report on existing SDS-Systems and software tools for on- and offshore planning. Gaps shall be identified and current demands of the offshore wind energy sector shall be analyzed. Also potential user groups should be identified.

The study is integrated in the POWER (Pushing Offshore Wind Energy Regions) EU project and will be published in this framework.

Decision support systems are designed to help during the development, construction and operation of offshore wind farms. For instance, during planning a whole series of requirements from various fields comes together (engineering, costs, financing, environment, shipping, military, exclusion zones, sediment properties, accessibility ...). Decision support systems integrate various data, general information and mathematical models, in this way supporting optimization and decision-taking processes.

A survey is performed as a basis for the study on software and decision support systems in the planning and implementation process of offshore wind farms in the North Sea region. The goal is to provide an overview of individual software tools such as Arc-View, WindPRO, WasP, and of existing decision support systems, as well as to define the demand for and requirements of decision support systems for the planning and implementation of offshore wind farm projects in the North Sea area. The parties addressed here are developers, planners, authorities, manufacturers, universities, financing groups etc.

For further information have a look at the final report.