Who would you say is the most qualified entity to talk about what’s good and bad for business on the coast of the Southeastern U.S.? President Obama? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Maybe Governor McCrory in Raleigh, North Carolina or Governor Haley in Columbia, South Carolina, or Congressmen who live hundreds of miles from the [...]
Wind turbines and sailboats share many commonalities. Both are super advanced, highly popular and lovable, low cost and protective of the environment, but do you know all of the 19 1/2 ways wind turbines and sailboats are similar?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a new report yesterday showing progress for the U.S. offshore wind energy market in 2012, including the completion of two commercial lease auctions for federal Wind Energy Areas and a number of commercial-scale U.S. projects reaching an advanced stage of development. Further, the report highlights global trends toward building offshore turbines in deeper waters and using larger, more efficient turbines in offshore wind farms, increasing the amount of electricity delivered to consumers.
Yesterday was the grand opening of the Clemson University Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility, the biggest and most advanced test center of its kind in the world. SACE was a sponsor of the event had the pleasure of sending a small team to attend. The facility will test advanced wind turbines by simulating field conditions [...]
This year in Providence, Rhode Island, the American Wind Energy Association and the Offshore Wind Development Coalition hosted the Offshore WINDPOWER Expo. One of the unique aspects of this conference was the renewed focus on the value of offshore wind energy. Another aspect that was new to this conference was the focus on logistics – specifically ports, vessels and transmission capabilities. Several speakers and many attendees from various government agencies could not confirm their attendance until just a few days before the exposition. But, some people still were unable to attend in part because of sequestration and the reduction in available federal funds. With all the manufacturing, ship-building and offshore energy expertise here in the South, perhaps the conference organizers should look towards New Orleans or Jacksonville as potential conference locations.
Offshore wind energy is a clean and inexhaustible resource that would reduce air pollution, provide greater energy security, and restore economic growth here in Georgia. A study from Geo-Marine, Inc. shows that Georgia has about 14.5 gigawatts of feasibly developed offshore wind energy potential–enough power to provide one-third of Georgia’s current electrical needs. Even though Georgia does not have any wind farms of its own yet, many companies have set up shop in our state to help service the domestic and international wind industry markets. In 2011, there were between 500-1000 direct and indirect jobs provided by the wind industry in Georgia. In addition, the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal is an important transportation hub for wind energy equipment. If the the growth of the industry persists, the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that up to 20,000 manufacturing jobs could be created in Georgia by 2030. Imagine the increased local job opportunities if Georgia developed offshore wind farms along our own coast!
The City of North Charleston proclaimed support for offshore wind energy at last night’s City Council meeting as Mayor Keith Summey presented a proclamation listing many benefits of wind energy and how the City is positioned to benefit from the industry’s further development. Some highlights of the proclamation include recognition that North Charleston is well [...]
The following is a guest post written by Jen Banks, Director of Operations for the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition originally posted here. The Southeastern states from Virginia to Florida are home to over 65 wind related manufacturing facilities that support thousands of wind energy jobs in the Southeast region. These supply chain facilities could expand [...]
It’s all about the sea breeze effect. During the summertime, as the sun beats down, the oceans and land absorb and radiate heat at different rates. As such, air over the lands tend to heat up quicker than air over water. The temperature difference between the land air (hot) and ocean air (cold) causes the ocean air to rush inland and fill the vacuum over land. The result is a sea breeze rushing inland in the hot summer afternoons. Simply put, offshore and nearshore wind farms can generate electricity by using the sea breeze effect to serve peak demands, including our air conditioners. Particularly for offshore wind, where costs are estimated to be higher than onshore wind farms, supplying high-value energy when its needed the most may help justify a higher price for those resources.
A webinar on July 17th provided by Wind Powering America offered a very different perspective on the Carnegie Mellon study. The webinar featured Dr. Mark Powell, an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Powell, along with his colleague Steven Cocke, discovered multiple flaws in the Carnegie Mellon study and published a comment on the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The Carnegie Mellon study used an extreme value based model that predicted every storm would hit Galveston at peak intensity. The study appeared to only use worst-case scenario data, while the chance of peak winds hitting a wind farm are actually very slim. By altering the modeling, Dr. Powell and Dr. Cocke found that only 2 turbines (compared to 24 turbines) in 20 years would be impacted by extreme weather. Their new model alters the perception of wind turbine resiliency to extreme weather events. However, Dr. Powell and Dr. Cocke’s published comments in PNAS did not receive nearly the media frenzy that the wrong Carnegie Mellon study did.