Northeast
The New Jersey Wind Energy Area, where hundreds of wind turbines may eventually be built, is shaded green and brown. Image: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior

Sea Breeze Study May Aid US Wind Farm Developers

A team of researchers at Rutgers University has used new forecasting methods to predict offshore sea breeze patterns on the Jersey Shore — data that could be useful for companies hoping to build wind farms off Atlantic City.

"The proposed, multimillion-dollar offshore wind farms industry may benefit from a Rutgers-led study that used sophisticated forecasting to understand sea breezes and make them a more predictable source of energy," said a press release from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

The behavior of offshore sea breezes, and how the ocean influences them, have largely been mysteries until now, said lead author Greg Seroka, who earned a doctorate in physical oceanography at Rutgers and is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist.

“We’ve developed a technique to characterize and predict sea breezes, which could be critically beneficial for offshore wind turbine construction planning, operations and maintenance – and help make wind a reliable substitute for fossil fuels,” said Seroka, who worked with Rutgers associate professor Josh Kohut, assistant professor Travis Miles and Distinguished Professor Scott Glenn in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences on the research.

The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, for the first time combined a sophisticated statistical analysis technique with a weather forecasting model to assess sea breezes near-shore and offshore.

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