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.

Will Hurricanes Iselle and Julio Destroy Hawaii’s Wind Farms?

If Hurricanes Iselle and Julio make landfall, several wind farms will assuredly be in the storms’ paths. But, as we’ve documented with Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Hurricane Irene (2011), hurricanes rarely pose major threats to modern wind turbines. With both of those storms, no damage was reported for any wind farm on the east coast.

A Changing Climate and a Changing Public

This post, written by Southern Energy Network’s Communications Fellow Simone Domingue, first appeared on SEN’s blog. You can find the original post here. “A Climate of Change” read one of the Saturday headlines of the Huffington Post last November. The article read that a recent Rasmussen poll concluded that 68% of Americans recognize climate change [...]

Hurricane Season Draws to Close, Sandy Begs for Action

November 30–the day that many of us in the coastal Southeast can breathe a sigh of relief that hurricane season finally “officially” ends.  Many of us can give thanks that we came through yet another hurricane season without too much damage, while others of us may still be recovering from impacts from one of the [...]

Global Warming Matters This Election, Stupid

This blog is the third in a series of blogs examining the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and its connections to extreme weather and climate change. Other blogs can be read here. Once again extreme weather and its devastating impacts are dominating the headlines.  Following the march of destruction, the tragic loss of human life and [...]

Hurricane Sandy and the Clear Imperative of Climate Action

This blog is the second in a series of blogs examining the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and its connections to extreme weather and climate change. Other blogs can be read here. It is 6:00 pm on Tuesday evening, just 24 hours since the ‘Frankenstorm’ Hurricane Sandy  made landfall along the coast of New Jersey.  As [...]