Avery Barnett Selected to Investigate the Future of Offshore Wind in NJ

Written by
Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Oct. 26, 2023

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment has selected four graduate students from across Princeton to participate in the 2023-2024 New Jersey Wind Institute Fellowship. Among this year's recipients is Avery Barnett, a STEP PhD candidate in the School of Public and International Affairs, working with Professors Michael Oppenheimer and Jesse Jenkins.

The selected fellows will carry out research projects to tackle timely challenges facing the growing offshore wind industry, from characterizing winds in coastal boundary layers to understanding the resilience of offshore wind technologies to extreme weather events along the Atlantic coast.

Now in its second year, the Wind Institute Fellowship Program, established by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), supports students at select New Jersey institutions of higher learning with the goal of advancing knowledge and expertise around the offshore wind industry in New Jersey and the surrounding region. Princeton University joined the Wind Institute Fellowship Program in 2023.

The fellows will conduct independent research projects in collaboration with a Princeton faculty adviser during the 2023-2024 academic year, as well as the following summer. As a part of the program, they will meet regularly with other fellows from universities and colleges across New Jersey to discuss offshore wind research challenges, explore regulatory processes applicable to offshore wind, meet with wind industry experts, and visit operating offshore wind facilities. They will also present their findings at an Offshore Wind Energy Symposium, which will take place at the end of the spring 2024 semester.


Avery's Project

Resilience of offshore wind technologies under extreme weather events in New Jersey and the PJM interconnection

Hurricanes and tropical storms that make landfall along the mid-Atlantic coastline pose significant threats to offshore wind technologies and the energy grid in New Jersey. Barnett, a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in public affairs, will work with her adviser Jesse Jenkins, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, to study the resilience of offshore wind technologies to extreme weather events, specifically hurricanes and flooding. She will study how different electricity grid portfolios — encompassing varying levels of offshore wind deployment, weather-hardening infrastructure, and climate goals — will contribute to the overall energy system, as well as the degree of energy supply disruption resulting from these extreme weather events. The research will be a first step in understanding the resilience of New Jersey — and by extension the entire PJM interconnection — to hurricanes as the offshore wind industry achieves greater levels of market penetration, and the project will lay the foundation for future research to develop a multi-hazard electric grid resiliency model.