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Posted on: November 20, 2023

WHOI's Wind Forecast Initiative Launches Nantucket Site

WHOI Site Photo 4

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For Immediate Release: November 20, 2023

WHOI's Wind Forecast Initiative Launches Nantucket Site


Last Friday, November 17, equipment installation began at 81 South Shore Road, adjacent to the Town’s sewer beds, as part of a Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP3). The project is a collaboration between the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

WFIP3 centers on fortifying NOAA’s weather forecast models to predict weather parameters like wind speed, turbulence intensity, and icing conditions. These predictions influence wind energy generation, aiding electric grid operators in maintaining stability by managing the variable power output from wind farms and traditional generation stations.

Town experts will have access to the project data and will work collaboratively with WHOI in interpreting it to maximize its benefits. “The value of having these data specific to Nantucket cannot be overstated,” said Vince Murphy, Town of Nantucket Sustainability Programs Manager. “The high-quality data from this installation can help local decision making through better understanding and forecasting of winds from the open ocean and their impact on land. This could possibly help to understand erosion cycles and wind damage. Understanding the consistency of winds for potential ocean and local energy production is beneficial to Nantucket’s sustainable future.”  

Nantucket is one of several WFIP3 research sites; other locations include Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and offshore barges and mooring. Measuring wind speeds in previously uncharted areas, like Nantucket, allows NOAA to generate more precise forecasts, particularly in the atmospheric zones where wind turbines operate. 

“Having a site on Nantucket is critical,” said Joe Sedlar, Science Lead for Radiation, Aerosol and Cloud Division (NOAA) for the WFIP3.  “If we can understand processes locally, that will help on a regional scale. We are grateful that The Town of Nantucket was open to having us and that Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility has been so supportive. The Nantucket site will facilitate state of the art measurements that we deploy in order to understand how energy fluxes impact renewable energy from wind.” 

The project on Nantucket is anticipated to continue through the Summer of 2025. 

For further information, please contact WHOI Project Lead Anthony Kirincich at

WHOI WFIP3 Project website:


 WHOI Site Photo 5

Wind Speed Measurement Equipment 

WHOI Site Photo 3

Surface Radiation Measurement Equipment 

WHOI Site Photo 2

Gary Hodges (left), a leading expert in surface radiation budget measurements and radiation instrumentation, with the University of Colorado and NOAA, explains equipment.

WHOI Site Photo 1

Surface Radiation Measurement Equipment 



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