Ecosystem services typology: A wind farm siting tool

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) has been leading an Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) resulting in zoning of the state's coastal water to accommodate offshore wind farms. The wind farm siting issue has been previously considered as an optimization problem between wind resources and technological constrains (Spaulding et al, 2010). In this study we explore the ecological constrains in an Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) conceptual framework of ecosystem services using spatial multivariate statistical analysis (Principal Component and Cluster analysis), to provide an ecological typology of the coastal area based on ecological variables. The value of the resulting ecological sub-regions is assessed in term of biodiversity and resilience to the wind farm impact, expressed in terms of biodiversity and impact indices. Additional indices are developed to express other ecosystem services such as fisheries (food provisioning service and recreational service). Combining ecosystem services value with technological constrains and wind resources in a Wind Farm Siting Index (WiFSI) provides a tool to identify optimal areas to site wind farms. The method is applied, in this paper, to lattice jacket supported wind turbines, as currently proposed for Rhode Island waters, and identifies optimal potential wind farm sites in coastal and offshore Rhode Island waters. Copyright © 2011 by the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE).

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference

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