Oregon Offshore Wind Visual Simulation

Visual Simulation Fact Sheet

Visual Simulations Posters


In response to input received regarding viewshed impacts from potential offshore wind development within the Call Areas, visual simulations of hypothetical offshore wind projects in the Oregon draft Wind Energy Areas were prepared. These simulations will inform BOEM on future planning efforts, including the designation of draft Wind Energy Areas. 

In Fall 2022, BOEM invited Tribes and Oregon state agencies to assist in identifying key observation points (KOPs). BOEM met with several of these entities to inform the identification of six KOPs for the visualization simulation study. These entities included the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.    

In Winter 2023, viewshed experts conducted pre-site visits with members of these entities to finalize the KOP locations.  

Panoramic Visual Simulations 

The six KOPs for panoramic visual simulations were chosen with the goal of selecting KOPs that are representative of a range of elevations and viewing angles. The visual simulations depict a hypothetical offshore wind project and how it might appear within each draft Wind Energy Area at different times of day and night. A meteorological report detailing the weather and visibility conditions over a 10-year period was also prepared as part of this effort. 

Click the links below to view the panoramic visual simulations of hypothetical offshore wind projects.  

How will actual offshore wind facilities differ from these visual simulations? 

The visual simulations illustrate hypothetical projects. The simulations illustrate hypothetical wind projects using hypothetical 20MW turbines that are still in the conceptual stage and not commercially available. The simulations are designed to represent a commercially scaled, maximum density, and technically feasible scenario that is consistent with industry trends for operating capacity, wind turbine size, spacing and configuration. 

The visual simulations model a total of 262 20-MW turbines for a total generating capacity of approximately 5,240 MW of renewable energy. Draft Wind Energy Area “A” contains 74 turbines and draft Wind Energy Area “B” contains 188 turbines. Each turbine has a hub height of 725 ft, rotor diameter of 935 ft, and maximum height at the blade tip of 1,171 ft. Turbines are modeled in a grid pattern, 1 nautical mile apart, with the first row oriented on the shore-most boundary of the draft Wind Energy Area and filling in seaward to represent the “most-visible” representation of each wind facility. 

Should any offshore wind energy leases be awarded and project plans submitted, project-specific visual simulations will be prepared by a lessee and submitted with a proposed Construction and Operations Plan (COPs) for comprehensive regulatory and environmental reviews. See Guidelines for Information Requirements for a Renewable Energy Construction and Operations Plan

Instructions for Viewing the Visual Simulations 

The simulations are intended to be viewed as large high-resolution printed panoramas, while the images are okay to be viewed flat, for full experiential accuracy they are best viewed when properly mounted onto a curved stand and placed at a typical viewing distance based on the image width. The panoramas cover a field of view 124-degrees horizontally by 55-degrees vertically, which is consistent with the typical human field of view.  

For example, a 36”-wide panorama image would be placed at approximately 16 inches from the viewer. Images viewed digitally are representations and the visibility of the turbines projected on a computer screen will depend on the scale at which the image is being viewed. Simply put, zooming in on the image will over-represent visibility and, conversely, zooming out will minimize visibility of the turbines. 

BOEM intends to provide local viewing opportunities in coastal communities of these simulations by sharing print outs at various locations and at future public meetings. Sign up to receive notifications of where to view these printouts and other news and updates regarding BOEM Oregon Offshore Renewable Energy. 

Meteorological Report 

This effort also included an analysis of the meteorological conditions along the coast of Oregon. 

Meteorological Data Assessment Report for BOEM Oregon Call Areas