Federal News Network: NOAA’s data sharing with windmill developer could yield ocean insight for both parties

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed a first-ever data sharing agreement with a private company – a developer of offshore windmill farms. Both parties have an interest in learning more about what’s going on in coastal waters. For the whys and wherefores of the agreement, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to NOAA’s integrated ocean and coastal mapping coordinator, Ashley Chappell…”

“Tom Temin: Got it. So backing up a step then, when someone builds an offshore windmill, I guess, or a series of them, they’re anchored in the ocean in some manner so they have the opportunity to have sensors and data collection mechanisms about what’s going on in the waters in which these windmills sit. Is that the general picture of how it works?

Ashley Chappell: Yes, exactly. Actually, these companies have to do a lot of research and data collection, even before they head out to the water, they need to get information in on what is out there before they can even start construction. So it’s quite an extensive effort, as you can imagine.

Tom Temin: Sure. What are the types of data that they look at that are also useful to NOAA?

Ashley Chappell: Well, they’re looking at meteorological conditions, they’re looking at the seabed surface. Can they construct something there? What are the habitats in and around where they might want to place wind energy infrastructure? They’re collecting the bathymetry, which is ocean depth, like I said. And the other parameters around the water and the habitats, the environments that are there, they are collecting biological data, perhaps about the inhabitants of that area so as not to damage marine life and established communities. That sort of thing. And all of that data is useful to NOAA’s ocean science research and operations…” Read the full interview here.

Source: NOAA’s data sharing with windmill developer could yield ocean insight for both parties – By Tom Temin, April 14, 2021. Federal News Network.

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