Risk Management for the Impacts of Coronal Mass Ejections, Electromagnetic Pulse Threats and Climate-Related Weather Events on Power Cables Supporting the Potential of Offshore Wind Energy Off of the Northern East Coast of the United States
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The offshore wind industry is in the midst of its technology breakthrough phase, as humankind has experienced recently in other technology breakthroughs such as the internet and the smart phone. Wind turbine capability is growing considerably every few years, and infrastructure is in rapid advancement in hopes to barely keep up. As the offshore wind industry has announced the technology of a 15 MW turbine, a 525 KV HVDC subsea transmission cable has also made its debut, reflecting a capability to support 2 GW, more than 130 of these new turbines. Offshore Wind power has very positive risk benefits. It has been in a steady decline in price possibly supporting economic feasibility, while also growing in potential for abundance, where it could provide as a solid improvement in CO2 emissions from our power grid. However, there are negative risks that the supportive infrastructure will face. The coastal areas are more susceptible to Earth’s weather disasters, mainly hurricanes and tropical storms, and findings also suggest a higher susceptibility to solar weather caused by our sun. When it comes to addressing these risks and assuring a reliable, resilient power source to the public, there are politics involved. Offshore Wind Energy is new to the energy mix of the United States. As a result, it may face challenges if policy does not maintain an accurate evaluation of these risks into policy. This study investigates how Offshore Wind Energy in the North Atlantic offshore region of the United States will be affected by recent policy mitigating geomagnetic storm impacts, by analyzing its resiliency to the risk within thresholds presented to and enacted by congress. Findings suggest that future Offshore Wind Energy farms and grid resiliency efforts will benefit from early planning and collaboration efforts, especially in the use of larger cable sizes and HVDC power infrastructure. Conclusive results also suggest key future partnering opportunities in policy to address risks from solar weather events and climate-related events.