The US Offshore Wind Standards Initiative, a collaborative that brings together federal government departments and agencies, national industry associations, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and industry representatives, has issued a best-practices guidebook for the offshore wind sector. The document is the culmination of a five-year effort by the collaborative and more than 100 industry experts from around the globe.
The new guidance, Offshore Compliance Recommended Practices: 2022 Edition (OCRP-1-2022) – an update to the American Wind Energy Association OCRP-2012 – adheres to a pre-established ANSI/ACP (American Clean Power Association) consensus standards-development process, which includes balanced participation by key stakeholders, opportunity for public review and commentary, resolution for filed comments, and acceptance through voting by the governing ACP Technical Wind Standards Committee and the ANSI Board of Standards Review.
Because of that, OCRP-1-2022 can be officially recognised by regulators and referenced within the US regulatory approval process.
OCRP-1-2022 is expected to become a primary resource for offshore wind energy development, leading to shorter regulatory timelines and increased worker safety. It covers all stages of offshore wind farm development, including design, manufacturing and fabrication, transportation and installation, operations and in-service inspections, and life-cycle planning.
This comprehensive framework for current and future projects will reduce uncertainty in the codes, standards and approaches to be applied in offshore wind power projects.
“To meet the Biden administration’s goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, the industry is challenged with designing, manufacturing and installing 2,100 turbines, foundations and transition pieces in less than eight years,” said Liz Burdock, Business Network for Offshore Wind president and CEO. “OCRP-1-2022 is an essential component to meeting the goal, providing common guidance, removing guesswork and enabling required federal permitting design documents to be more quickly developed. This should help reduce overall permitting time frames and put turbines in the water faster to help avert the climate crisis.”
The US Offshore Wind Standards Initiative is working on four additional guidance documents that will address specific topics, including floating offshore wind energy; meteorological and oceanographic data requirements; geotechnical and geophysical requirements for offshore wind energy technologies; and minimum requirements for submarine cables. These documents are scheduled for public review and ANSI approval later in 2022.