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Sanjay Arwade Leads UMass Team on Hurricane Resiliency Modeling Project

Sanjay Arwade

Sanjay Arwade 

UMass researchers led by Sanjay Arwade, civil engineering, are collaborating on the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium’s project to quantify and assess the risk to offshore wind installations of Atlantic coast hurricanes. 

The nonprofit National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC) supports cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind to maximize economic benefits to the U.S. Its new research project, “Ensuring Long-Term Availability and Bankability of Offshore Wind Through Hurricane Risk Assessment and Mitigation,” is receiving $650,000 in combined funding from three states and is led by Northeastern University. In addition to UMass Amherst, research support is expected from the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Colorado Boulder and Clemson and Tufts universities. 

“This new award from the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland will play a critical role in allowing us and our collaborative team to critically assess the hurricane risk to offshore wind energy along the U.S. East Coast,” says Arwade, team lead for UMass Amherst. “By doing so we can help ensure a smooth transition to a clean, renewable and reliable energy future.” 

Relatively little technical research has been devoted to quantifying and assessing risk of Atlantic coast hurricanes to offshore wind (OSW). Developers, regulators and insurers have limited tools to quantify the risks or determine whether meaningful design changes are necessary to manage the risk. 

“We expect this proposal to remove a significant amount of the uncertainty associated with conjectures about hurricane risk with a targeted, industry-driven series of investigations that span from basic atmospheric science to highly applied OSW engineering,” says project lead Jerome Hajjar, department of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University. 

“The nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project is now under construction to serve Massachusetts customers, but many more projects will follow,” says Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “We must ensure that offshore wind is a reliable and resilient source of zero-carbon energy over the long-term and this is an excellent example of states working together, through the consortium, to that end.” 

Over the past three years, 46 projects have received awards from the consortium, representing over $33.3 million in funding.  

This article was originally published by the UMass Amherst Office of News and Media Relations.