Trumbull, Conn.-based COWI USA, Inc. has been selected as the prime consultant for the first phase of constructing an ocean-based anemometer tower, part of the Palmetto Wind Research Project and a key step in researching the viability of a proposed offshore wind farm.

COWI USA will lead a team in helping Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, select the appropriate anemometry equipment, platform, and foundation for an offshore meteorological tower. Phase one of the project also includes an alternative analysis and concept design for the wind data collection system. The design will consider cost, bankability of data, system dependability, ease of installation, and environmental considerations. Phase I is scheduled to be completed in February 2010.

“COWI brings substantial coastal and marine engineering experience to us,” said Marc Tye, Santee Cooper vice president of conservation and renewable energy. “They have completed a significant number of similar quality projects, and they have a strong understanding of our project goals.”

COWI USA includes subsidiaries Ocean Coastal, Inc. also of Trumbull, Connecticut who will serve as this project’s program manager, and Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. of San Francisco, California who will provide offshore foundation and construction expertise as well as AWS Truewind, LLC based in Albany, New York for wind data acquisition expertise and Newkirk Environmental, Inc. located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina for environmental and regulatory assessment. COWI A/S based in Lyngby, Denmark, one of the most successful offshore wind farm foundation design firms in the world, will provide technical expertise to the team on all phases of the project.

“As there are currently no operating offshore wind farms in the US, this project is a unique opportunity for COWI USA to bring our company’s worldwide offshore wind experience to Santee Cooper in order to help move forward with this important renewable energy resource,” added COWI USA President Stanley M. White.

Future phases of the Palmetto Wind Research Project will include construction, permitting, and installing offshore platform and data gathering equipment, followed by data collection and analysis.