North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program: Comprehensive Gulf Stream Ocean Energy Resource Assessment Using an Integrated Observing and Modeling Approach (FY18)

Sponsor:  UNC Coastal Studies Institute


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: John Bane, Sara Haines
University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute: Mike Muglia

Funding Period

July 2017 – June 2018


In the previous years of this ongoing project, our team has made substantial progress in developing an integrated Observing-Modeling Prediction and Assessment System (OMPAS) to guide the optimal extraction of ocean kinetic energy from the Gulf Stream off the coast of North Carolina. Model development is being conducted at NC State under the direction of PI R. He. To inform the model, M. Muglia of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, under NC ROEP support to the CSI, continues making regional oceanographic observations to provide a crucial data set to validate and refine NC State’s ocean circulation model. This ocean model fills data gaps and provides temporally and spatially continuous, four-dimensional (x, y, z, t) circulation fields, which have supported the analyses of the Gulf Stream’s energy generation potential (including the magnitude of energy available and its variations in time and space) that co-PI J. Bane and his team at UNC have been conducting.

Our efforts during the 2017-18 project year will be to: further develop our observing and predictive capability in order to produce the best available quantitative descriptions of numerous aspects of the ocean environment that relate to power generation in the Gulf Stream along the NC continental slope and outer continental shelf; continue gathering information that will be helpful in engineering considerations, array design, and environmental assessment; and develop an improved understanding of the character and causes of the current variability in this region.  This last topic will be especially valuable in model predictions that are necessary for emplacement and operations of submarine power generating machinery.  As in the past, we will continue interactions with other ROEP groups, including those led by C. Vermillion (UNC-C), L. Dubbs (UNC-CSI), and J. DeCarolis (NCSU).


Haines, S. (2017) Data Product Descriptions for the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program. 5 pp.