This study aims to determine the offshore wind energy potential for Portugal using the mesoscale atmospheric model WRF that provides a reliable and accurate wind data set for this area, and allows identifying the wind resources in potential areas for developing offshore wind parks. Before a model can be used to provide a wind climatology a validation study has to be carried out, for which accurate wind measurements are required. Therefore, two years of high resolution (9 km) weather modeling data are used to validate the model against measurements from meteorological stations along two Portuguese pilot zone areas for renewable energy devices: Aguçadoura and S. Pedro de Moel. The validation is carried out for winds at 10m and at 80m height. The correlation coefficients, root mean squared errors and bias are used to evaluate the model accuracy. The model is used to calculate 80 m wind speeds (turbine hub height) for each area and wind statistics are determined for the entire domain in the Portuguese coast. It is demonstrated that the downscaled winds provide better accuracy than the initial forcing fields.

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