The U.S. Offshore Wind Standards initiative aims to develop a comprehensive set of consensus-based roadmaps under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Clean Power Association (ACP; formally known as AWEA) rules which navigates the existing offshore wind standards and guidelines. This is to facilitate safe designs and orderly deployment of offshore wind in the United States by accounting for unique U.S. geophysics, administrative and environmental constraints and providing the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) with recommendations for industry best practice procedures.
From 2009 to 2012, the U.S. offshore wind industry, led by a collaboration among the Minerals Management Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the American Wind Energy Association, established a consensus-based working group which developed a roadmap from existing standards which provided the U.S. offshore wind industry’s first set of “best practices”, titled AWEA Offshore Compliance Recommended Practice (OCRP) 2012. For many years this document became the primary guidance document which was used by the U.S. Offshore wind industry to facilitate initial project development.
Since its publication, the industry has gained over a decade of experience and AWEA OCRP 2012 no longer adequately addresses the regulatory requirements for BOEM and BSEE, which the regulators responsible for the safe deployment of offshore wind turbines in the United States, and lack critical information needed by the U.S. wind development community.
In September 2017, the AWEA Wind Technical Standards Committee (later renamed the ACP Wind Technical Standards Committee) voted to approve the formation of the AWEA Offshore Wind Subcommittee to oversee the development of a new standards initiative to update AWEA OCRP-2012. This subcommittee, formed under the leadership of Walt Musial, Principal Engineer at NREL, decided to form five working groups to address the AWEA OCRP 2012 deficiencies.