Field Observations During Offshore Wind Structure Installation and Operation, Volume 3

Title: Field Observations During Offshore Wind Structure Installation and Operation, Volume 3

Key Researchers: P. English, A. A. Khan, S. De Gregorio, P. Barros, R. Newman, T. Sideropoulos, K. Ampela, C.E. Bacon

As part of the Real-Time Opportunity for Development Environmental Observations (RODEO) Study, turbidity, corrosion, and biofouling were measured during the operation of two wind turbines as part of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project.  Turbidity from the presence of the turbines was measured using two Acoustic Wave and Current profilers deployed for one year.  Corrosion was evaluated using coupons deployed on a mooring for two years.  Biofouling was evaluated using fouling plates and video transects of the turbine structure.  No turbidity was observed related to the turbines.  Corrosion was observed on untreated coupons that exceeded industry standards, however, treated coupons displayed no corrosion other than pitting around attachment sites of biota.  Biofouling occurred almost immediately with a succession of development from hydroids to mussels.  After two years, intense biofouling was observed on the settling plates.


  • Turbidity due to the presences of the turbines was not observed at distances of 400-500 meters, however there could be more localized sediment suspension
  • Corrosion rates for treated coupons were low, however, pitting was observed where barnacles or hydroids had attached to the coupons
  • Biofouling was observed within the first three months with the attachment of hydroids. This was followed by mussels, which developed into dense clumps

How BOEM will use this information

  • Results will inform environmental assessments of future offshore wind development
  • Inform engineering measures for corrosion and biofouling