Surface impacts of large offshore wind farms

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Environmental Research Letters
Future offshore wind farms around the world will be built with wind turbines of size and capacity never seen before (with diameter and hub height exceeding 150 and 100 m, respectively, and rated power exceeding 10 MW). Their potential impacts at the surface have not yet been studied. Here we conduct high-resolution numerical simulations using a mesoscale model with a wind farm parameterization and compare scenarios with and without offshore wind farms equipped with these 'extreme-scale' wind turbines. Wind speed, turbulence, friction velocity, and sensible heat fluxes are slightly reduced at the surface, like with conventional wind turbines. But, while the warming found below the rotor in stable atmospheric conditions extends to the surface with conventional wind turbines, with extreme-scale ones it does not reach the surface, where instead minimal cooling is found. Overall, the surface meteorological impacts of large offshore wind farms equipped with extreme-scale turbines are statistically significant but negligible in magnitude.
This article was originally published in Environmental Research Letters. The version of record is available at:
offshore wind, surface temperature, wind turbine, wind farm impacts, wind energy, affordable and clean energy
Golbazi, Maryam, Cristina L Archer, and Stefano Alessandrini. 2022. “Surface Impacts of Large Offshore Wind Farms.” Environmental Research Letters 17 (6): 064021.