New Wind Turbines Could Bring Huge Benefits to Mississippi

This map shows some of the areas with wind resources suited for development with newer, taller turbines. Source: Adapted from NREL's 110 meter hub height wind speed map for areas achieving 35% capacity factors or greater (November, 2014).

This post is the tenth in a blog series discussing state-by-state highlights of wind energy throughout the South in the lead up to the WINDPOWER Expo in Orlando, FL, May 18 – 21. See the rest of the series here.

New wind turbine technology is a game changer for clean energy opportunities in Mississippi. Taller turbines and longer blades are capable of capturing more wind, which results in generating more electricity and reducing costs. In just five years, wind turbines have greatly evolved and are now more suitable for the Southeast. One modern wind turbine can now power the equivalent of about 600 homes a year!

New wind speed maps released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrate the greatly increased potential for wind turbine development in Mississippi with advanced turbines. As wind turbines increase in height and are able to access better wind speeds, more areas become attractive for wind energy development within Mississippi. The shading on the map above represents new available land for wind development with modern turbines with towers of 360 feet (110 meters) achieving a 35% capacity factor or greater. With these new wind turbines, over 43,000 megawatts (MW) of land-based wind potential currently exist in Mississippi.  Developing just one gigawatt of wind energy capacity (1,000 MW) in Mississippi (less than 2% of Mississippi’s onshore potential) could power more than 255,500 homes a year!

Based on the Jobs and Economic Development Index model, developed by NREL, developing one gigawatt worth of onshore wind energy capacity in Mississippi could support approximately 3,700 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction and about 124 ongoing operation jobs with a total annual payroll of $5.9 million.

The Southeastern Wind Coalition has published fact sheets on wind energy in Mississippi and other Southeastern states. You can access those fact sheets here.

As the Southeast becomes a new frontier for wind energy, it is only fitting that the largest wind energy conference of the year will be in Orlando, Florida. Join us in Orlando, May 18-21, 2015 for the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition. Each year, the event draws thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors all looking to advance the wind industry. WINDPOWER features over 30 sessions ranging from market and policy analysis, to project performance and technical advancements in wind energy. It’s an excellent way to connect with subject matter experts–anyone interested in the wind industry should plan on attending. As a benefit to you for reading our blog, you can use this discount code to receive $50 off the full registration: SPKWP50.

We hope you can join us in Orlando to learn more about wind energy opportunities for Mississippi and the entire Southeast! You can register here. 

Credit: American Wind Energy Association

 #windpower2015

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