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Ashley Headshot
Successful Turbine Blade Transportation
By: Ashley Petersen, Project Manager/Meteorologist

It is no secret that offshore wind in the United States is expanding rapidly, with the first two turbines installed in Federal waters in May. For this monumental day to occur, a lot of work went into building and transporting the numerous components of a turbine.

In March and April this year, WRI Energy provided forecasting and routing services for the transportation of turbine blades from Altamira, MX to Louisiana, with a brief stop in Houston. Due to the sensitive nature of towing a barge with a low freeboard, finding a safe weather window and the best route was essential for this transportation.

During the spring, low pressures move eastward across the Rocky Mountains and the Mid-west, where cold fronts frequently drift into the western and northern Gulf of Mexico. When this occurs, it can make safe routing difficult due to building swell along the coast, strong winds and the associated showers/squalls.

WRI Energy maintained frequent contact with the captain and tug operators to ensure the tug/barge were safe. Most of the transits were successfully completed with little weather obstacles; however, the final transit was impacted by a strong front and squalls. Our experienced team of meteorologists evaluated a delay in Houston to minimize initial enhanced SW'ly winds, however overall weather conditions were expected to deteriorate further with more widespread showers and squalls near Louisiana.

Even though the situation was challenging, WRI Energy kept frequent communication with the operators/captains and recommended a protected drift area to ensure the tugs/barges were not impacted by adverse conditions, while preserving the schedule of the component delivery.

If there are any upcoming transits or offshore operations where weather support is needed, feel free to contact WRI Energy for a safe and timely transport.

Donald Headshot
American Offshore Wind Energy Reaches Milestone
By: Donald Bullen, Meteorologist

Significant progress has been made in the realization of clean energy in the United States of America, as the installation of the offshore wind farm in federal waters has been completed. The site was constructed 27 miles offshore of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is expected to be fully operational by this fall. This, despite the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, indicates the potential and resiliency of this fast growing industry to both create jobs, and to combat climate change by providing electricity without burning fossil fuels. Indeed, the success of offshore wind energy will assist in the economic recovery of the United States.

WRI Energy was paramount in the success of this project, by providing timely, accurate, and informative forecasts for the safe construction of the turbines. These forecasts were tailored to the operator's requirements for the safe construction of the project, and WRI Energy's role was to make it very clear when waves and winds would exceed the thresholds for installation. In addition, lightning was monitored in the region, and those who were involved with the construction were alerted ahead of time, so their offshore team could plan accordingly. By placing their trust in WRI Energy, those involved in the construction of the wind farm were able to focus solely the construction itself, knowing that WRI Energy would keep them safe with accurate weather forecasts.

• 08/18/2020 - 08/20/2020 - Virtual IPF Meeting
• 10/12/2020 - 10/14/2020 - Shipping Insight
• 10/12/2020 - 10/15/2020 - AWEA Offshore Windpower Conference (New York City, NY)
• 10/14/2020 - 10/16/2020 - CMA Shipping