U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Noise Reduction Associated with Installation of Fixed-Bottom Foundations: Workshop Report

Rebecca Green, Hayley Farr, Kendra Ryan, Genevra Harker-Klimes, Joseph Haxel, Michael Richlen

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


As offshore wind energy development grows in the United States, solutions are needed to reduce the underwater noise and substrate vibration generated during fixed-bottom turbine installation to help protect marine life. Monopiles are currently the main turbine foundation type installed globally and impact pile driving, the primary installation method, can be a major source of noise and vibration generation during wind farm construction. Opportunities exist to reduce the amount of noise and vibration produced during future offshore wind farm development. The use of alternative foundation types and installation methods, as well as innovative noise abatement technologies, would help reduce the potential detrimental effects on sensitive marine species. To explore these opportunities, the Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, funded the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to organize, host, and facilitate a virtual workshop in December 2022. The goal of the workshop was to gather input from the offshore wind energy community on noise reduction strategies for the installation of fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines in U.S. waters across multiple regions, including the U.S. Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes to inform recommendations on future research. The joint lab team convened industry representatives, subject matter experts, and regulators to discuss potential pathways to reduce noise and vibration associated with fixed-bottom turbine installation, including the practicality of using alternative foundations and installation methods, the effectiveness of noise abatement technologies, as well as research and monitoring needs. Overall, there was a high level of interest and engagement in the workshop. The sessions provided an opportunity for significant exchange of information between workshop participants from across sectors. Participants identified a variety of opportunities for next steps towards the noise reduction of offshore wind turbine installation in U.S. waters, including recommendations for future investments to provide certainty in the use of new technologies associated with alternative foundation types, noise abatement systems, and efficacy monitoring.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-86078


  • alternative foundations
  • construction
  • environmental
  • installation
  • monopiles
  • noise
  • noise abatement
  • noise mitigation
  • offshore wind
  • pile driving
  • supply chain


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