To mitigate climate change, decarbonizing power systems is one critical solution. California government sets a goal to procure 100% electricity from renewables by 2045 (Senate Bill 100). A diversified energy portfolio with different forms of renewable sources can help achieve this renewable target and sustain the reliability of power systems. While offshore wind has become an important energy source in some countries, offshore wind development in California is at the planning stage as of writing (in 2019). Central California Coast contains two of three call areas for commercial development. My study on offshore wind in this region answers unknown questions that can hopefully inform stakeholders.
The first part of my study is to identify the best wind data set for estimating offshore wind along the Central California Coast, given that buoy measurements are unable to reveal wind speed across space and the best wind data set in other regions does not mean the best data set in this region. I evaluated the performance of multiple wind data sets in relation to buoy measurements and identified the best data set based on evaluation metrics.
The second part of my study used the best wind data set identified in the first part to estimate how power production at altitude where a 10-MW turbine operates varies across space and time. This study investigated the daily and seasonal patterns of offshore wind power, how its patterns match that of electricity demand and other variable renewable sources, and how the match influences its value.
The third part is to investigate the impact of offshore wind development within the call areas on system operations under different scenarios.
In addition, I was involved in a review study on the potential impact of offshore wind development on the environment.