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AWEA Releases Recommended Practices for Offshore Wind Compliance

October 10, 2012

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its long-awaited consensus document, AWEA Offshore Compliance Recommended Practices 2012 (OCRP 2012), today at its Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Virginia Beach.

Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), AWEA’s OCRP 2012 recommends good practices in the use of existing standards for planning, designing, constructing, and operating offshore wind facilities.

Efforts to develop the recommended practices document began in 2009 when industry and regulatory agencies raised concerns over the lack of a single set of standards or guidelines for offshore wind development in the United States. The development of the guidelines is critical to industry because they will lead to mature standards that will reduce uncertainty and project risk and ultimately help lower the cost of offshore wind energy. These recommended practices leverage multiple standards already in use in Europe but also compile many other standards from other industries to address the unique conditions in U.S. coastal waters.

To develop the U.S. guidelines, AWEA and NREL enlisted the help of more than 50 offshore wind industry experts to identify the best practices using four levels of existing standards: international standards, national standards (e.g., the American Petroleum Institute), classification society standards (e.g., Germanischer Lloyd, Det Norske Veritas, and The American Bureau of Shipping), and commercial standards and guidelines. The resulting OCRP 2012 addresses five critical areas in the development of an offshore wind facility:

  • Structural reliability
  • Manufacturing, qualification testing, installation, and construction
  • Safety of equipment
  • Operation and inspection
  • Decommissioning.

The process used to develop AWEA’s OCRP 2012 followed the AWEA Standards Development Procedures that were adopted by AWEA in 2007. AWEA is the Accredited Standards Developer under the authority of the American National Standards Institute for consensus wind energy standards in the United States.