Metocean Reference Station Best Practices: MORS-1 Case Study

Anthony Kirinchich, Caroline Draxl

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The goal of a Metocean Reference Station should be to aid both near-term development of the offshore wind energy industry as well as long-term climate and energy research. Capitalizing on existing shared-use facilities wherever possible, reference stations should provide data valued by industry users as well as research users in a cost-effective way. Cost-effectiveness is a critical component of developing a reference site, as the real value of the site's data collection efforts is the length of the time series it is able to sustain. This report seeks to lay out the best practices toward developing and maintaining metocean reference stations in the United States. The best practices described here focus on suitable platforms, sensor integration, and long-term operations of the reference station itself, as best practices of operations for individual sensors for the research community or validation enterprises focused on industrial use of metocean data are well described in the literature. This work focuses on potential stations in the United States because the market for reference data and validation facilities is less well defined in the United States, given the young age of the rapidly emerging offshore wind energy industry here.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-87340


  • lidar buoys
  • metocean reference site
  • validation


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