Hurricane Michael and Climate Change: What We Know

Chris Carnevale with SACE contributed to this blog post. It’s hard to believe we are writing another blog about another big hurricane headed towards the Southeast not even a month after Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas. But we are! If you are in the path of Hurricane Michael, here are tips to stay safe from the […]

Thinking of you as Hurricane Florence approaches the Southeast

As Hurricane Florence approaches, please know we are thinking of you and your families, especially in the Carolinas. If you are still preparing for the arrival of this storm, click here for some helpful preparation tips from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. We are right here with you tracking Hurricane Florence and preparing to rebuild […]

Japan’s Hokkaido earthquake – power out, lives lost and disrupted

Update from Reuters: Power restored to the Tomari nuclear plant. Read more here. In the very early hours of September 6, 2018, a magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck Japan in southwestern Hokkaido. News reports have said 8 people were killed and dozens are missing. The quake destroyed buildings, triggered landslides that buried houses, and cut off electricity to […]

Hurricanes and Climate Change – What We Know for 2018 Season

Hurricane season officially begins today and runs through November. This is the six month period when hurricanes typically occur in the Atlantic. The beginning of the season is a good time to make sure you are prepared for hurricane impacts, should one threaten your area. But in addition to making sure our households are prepared for the short-term forecast of hurricanes this season, we must also make sure our communities are prepared for the impacts of hurricanes in the long term, by seeking to understand how hurricane risk may change in the years to come and how we can avoid the worst outcomes.

Bolting From Hurricane Irma: Maximizing the benefits of solar and an electric vehicle

The official end to Hurricane Season 2017 is today, November 30.  It was an especially unforgiving season and as we reflect back we wanted to share a story on how renewable energy and electric vehicles can offer benefits. The following is an account from two local Florida residents that we interviewed on how they fared […]

Texas Wind Farms Survive Hurricane Harvey

Simply put, many wind farms in coastal Texas weren’t affected by Harvey’s highest-level winds. And the turbines that did experience those extreme conditions, performed as expected and shut down for self-preservation, or when the local grid system failed.

How Will Hurricane Harvey Affect Texas Wind Farms?

To date, no wind farm in the United States has been destroyed by a hurricane. Neither Hurricane Iselle (Hawaii, 2014), Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey, 2012), nor Hurricane Irene (Delaware, 2011) harmed wind farms. Wind farms in hurricane-prone coastal zones are frequently designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, up to level Category 3 hurricanes. For self preservation purposes, wind turbines automatically shut down when wind speeds reach excessive levels. Hurricane Harvey is slated to become a Category 3 storm, and may test the limits of turbine engineering.

What if Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida’s Nuclear Reactors?

A report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists evaluated the risks of flood surge on associated power plant infrastructure in southern Florida. UCS’s report states, “Although Turkey Point, a large nuclear facility along the coast, is unlikely to be flooded by a Category 3 storm, everything around it is likely to be, and damage to nearby major substations could still prompt widespread outages in the region.” Similar impacts may be expected of other power plants in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

First in Flight North Carolina Gets First Wind Farm

While the Amazon Wind Farm US East isn’t the first wind farm in the South (as many, many news reports incorrectly stated), it certainly is the largest. In 2004, the wind development company Invenergy constructed the Buffalo Mountain wind farm near Oliver Springs, Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Authority has purchased power from the Buffalo Mountain wind farm for over a decade. The Buffalo Mountain wind farm is made up of 13 wind turbines with a total capacity of 27 megawatts; meanwhile, the new Amazon Wind Farm US East will contain 102 wind turbines with a total capacity of 208 megawatts, with an option to add another 50 turbines (100 megawatts).

Hurricane Iselle no big deal to Hawaii’s wind farms

Iselle (2014) now joins likes of Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012), as a case study showing that wind turbines can withstand tropical storms and hurricanes. It’s been a while since the United States has been hit by a Category 3 hurricane, or higher. Let’s hope that trend continues.