A Technical Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy in Mexico: A Case Study in Tehuantepec Gulf
The growing energy demand has increased the consumption of hydrocarbons in developing countries such as Mexico, which has contributed to accelerating global warming. Although Mexico has suitable offshore wind energy harvesting sites, technical assessments to identify technologies to be placed in specific locations are scarce. In Mexico, offshore wind resources are found in depths larger than 50 m. There, floating platforms are convenient for harnessing wind energy. This work presents a
... evaluation of offshore wind energy in one of the regions with a higher availability of wind resources on the Mexican coasts, the Tehuantepec Gulf, in the Pacific Ocean. First, a specific location is chosen to evaluate its maritime conditions and theoretical wind energy potential. Next, the performance of a floating offshore wind turbine platform has been investigated numerically using potential flow simulations. The motions of the platform were analyzed for different drafts when subjected to different environmental conditions in the evaluated region. These conditions include wave and wind scenarios with the highest probability of occurrence and the most extreme ones. From the evaluation of the platform dynamics in these scenarios, it was possible to identify the general working conditions of the platform. Results showed that the proposed FOWT could be suitable to be deployed in the region of interest for the most probable environmental conditions, presenting a possible energy production within 3–4 MW, approximately. However, motion stabilization should be required when subjected to extreme environmental conditions as the structure could significantly increase its surge and pitch motions. The simplified approach employed in this work can help perform the following steps in technical or practical resource assessments of wind energy in other places in Mexico or similar developing regions.