Support Offshore Wind Power

Sea PowerEven though the Southeast can play a major role in the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry, our region tends to play second fiddle to the Northeast or even the Great Lakes region. Unless the Department of Energy recognizes the importance of Southern states, our region will miss out on a great opportunity and the offshore wind industry may very well be hampered as well.

The South has a lot to offer the offshore wind industry. Three major utility companies in our region, Duke Energy (NC), Santee Cooper (SC) and Southern Company (GA) are investigating offshore wind energy. Universities like Georgia Tech (GA), Clemson University (SC) and University of North Carolina (NC) all have excellent programs to support the offshore wind industry. Several businesses that are specific to offshore wind energy,  such as a subsea cable installer (TX), a specialty turbine installation vessel ship builder and operator (LA), an offshore wind turbine blade manufacturer (LA) and environmental engineering firms (TX), already exist in the South. Our region is a prime location for these new green jobs.

In mid-September, the Department of Energy announced it was starting a new program that would focus on developing the fledgling offshore wind industry in the United States. The Offshore Wind Innovation and Demonstration Initiative (OSWIND) seeks to hasten the development of offshore wind energy on a scale similar to developing 54 large nuclear power plants at a price that is competitive with coal-fired power plants. That goal for offshore wind energy,  while it is meant to be  a national goal, is just 10% of the Southeast’s total offshore potential according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – highlighting the huge potential for this resource in our region.

The Department of Energy is receiving public comments on this new program until October 29th, 2010. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will be submitting comments highlighting the importance of our region. The OSWIND program should utilize the South’s maritime and manufacturing expertise while prioritizing market barrier removal to achieve the program’s goals. OSWIND represents a great opportunity for our region, and by prioritizing the South, it can help advance the entire industry across the country.

To find out more about the new OSWIND program, visit the Department of Energy’s website here.

Comments on the new program are accepted until October 29th and can be emailed here:

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Im sure this is redundant, but wind/clean energy wont spill in the gulf region devastating the coral reefs and other Eco systems. Change to wind/clean energy because it is the 21st century! Also, the jobs it would create wouldn’t hurt the area economically.

Comment by Iris on October 27, 2010 3:49 pm

here is an idea…instead of going for the whole ball of wax with large , extremely expensive mills that are at best difficult to maintain, and difficult to transport energy, why not try something that is almost immediate, easy to install and a visual that could impress many….let’s take turbines that are smaller, say twenty to thirty feet in diameter at the most and install them along the tybee road where existing power lines are..there is a four mile stretch…with one mill every five hundred feet or ten per mile for a total of forty turbines with an additional forty to be added at a time in the future. repair would be facilitated without sea state and distance being a factor and electrify the entire island of tybee with wind energy…

Comment by steve marlay on November 9, 2010 11:05 am

I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where did you get the image you used in your post? I really like it. Also, glad to hear the DOE is starting a new program. I will be checking it out.

Comment by Lee on November 9, 2010 12:55 pm

I definitely feel that offshore wind turbines are of such low impact that we need to take advantage of this free energy source we can harness from mother nature.

Comment by Shed Plans Guy on November 13, 2010 4:31 pm

one more comment, if the turbines can be placed on land and they are more cost effective and remain low impact, that also makes a lot of sense. Along the coast there is so much wind we can harness… the swaps near Swans Quarter seem like a great spot.

Comment by Shed Plans Guy on November 13, 2010 4:33 pm

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