While experience gained through the offshore wind energy projects currently operating is valuable, a major uncertainty in estimating power production lies in the prediction of the dynamic links between the atmosphere and wind turbines in offshore regimes. The objective of the ENDOW project was to evaluate, enhance and interface wake and boundary layer models for utilization offshore. The project resulted in a significant advance in the state of the art in both wake and marine boundary layer models, leading to improved prediction of wind speed and turbulence profiles within large offshore wind farms. Use of new databases from existing offshore wind farms and detailed wake profiles collected using sodar provided a unique opportunity to undertake the first comprehensive evaluation of wake models in the offshore environment. The results of wake model performance in different wind speed, stability and roughness conditions relative to observations provided criteria for their improvement. Mesoscale model simulations were used to evaluate the impact of thermal flows, roughness and topography on offshore wind speeds. The model hierarchy developed under ENDOW forms the basis of design tools for use by wind energy developers and turbine manufacturers to optimize power output from offshore wind farms through minimized wake effects and optimal grid connections. The design tools are being built onto existing regional-scale models and wind farm design software which was developed with EU funding and is in use currently by wind energy developers. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.