A GIS-based offshore wind site selection model using fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making with application to the case of the Gulf of Maine

Journal ar
Expert Systems with Applications
  • Volumen: 210
  • Fecha: 30 December 2022
  • ISSN: 09574174
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.eswa.2022.118371
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
© 2022In the last decades, a considerable number of studies have been conducted to find the optimal locations for renewable energy facilities. The reviewed literature demonstrates how the combination of spatial representation computer tools, such as geographic information systems (GIS), with multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methodologies, has successfully solved the problem of identifying optimal locations. Furthermore, since the appearance of fuzzy logic, the combination approaches have extended to the field of fuzzy sets to consider the imprecision and vagueness that some criteria may involve. In this paper, we propose a comparative analysis among fuzzy versions of MCDM methodologies, including GIS technologies, for the optimal site selection of offshore wind power plants. With this aim, we combined a classical pair-wise comparison method (AHP) with two distance-based approaches (TOPSIS and VIKOR), applying GIS software and comparing the two most extended fuzzy membership functions: triangular and linear. As a case study, this optimal location problem was applied to offshore wind site selection in the Gulf of Maine (USA). Initially, 56 alternatives for potential locations were identified from 22,331 km2 study area. After applying the AHP methodology, the weights of the criteria were obtained, turning out to be the wind speed and bathymetry the most important criteria. The results demonstrate the robustness of the fuzzy TOPSIS methodology against potential variations in the criteria weights, since the best alternatives (optimal locations) and almost 90% of the 25 top-ranked alternatives were matching. Likewise, the rankings of alternatives illustrate that the use of triangular or linear fuzzy membership functions does not cause significant differences after applying the fuzzy VIKOR methodology and ArcGIS software. In fact, the most appropriate alternative is the same for both cases, and there is only an exchange of positions among the top-ranked alternatives. The proposed solutions can be applied to other locations and both onshore and offshore installations.

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