This study summaries the implementation of the SWAN model forced by the ECMWF ERA Interim dataset reanalyzed 10 m winds over the Black Sea which will be used to study the wind-wave climate and wave energy potential in the region, and its verification. The SWAN model results were compared with directional buoy measurements at three locations along the north and south coasts of the Black Sea, parametric model results based on the JONSWAP growth relations, and the results of previous studies. The SWAN model has been applied in a third generation and non-stationary mode with spherical coordinates. The linear and exponential growth from wind input, depth-induced wave breaking, bottom friction, whitecapping, four-wave (for deep water) and triad-wave (for shallow water) nonlinear interactions have been activated in the simulations. The results of this study indicate that agreement between simulated and observed wave parameters is satisfactory and it is slightly more accurate than the results of the previous studies. However, it still has lower estimates for the maximum values of both wave parameters. These lower estimates are probably due to too low wind speeds in the applied ECMWF wind fields, which is probably caused by orographic effects, and due to the relatively course resolution in time and space of the ECMWF (ERA-Interim) wind fields for the Black Sea. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.