For utility companies, grid operators and other stakeholders interested in wind energy integration, collecting large quantities of high quality data on wind energy resources is vitally important. However, collecting such data has previously been limited by time constraints, budget constraints, or technical expertise. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and Vaisala By 3Tier recently published the Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit. Peer-reviewed, and published in the scientific journal Applied Energy, the newly released WIND Toolkit by NREL is the largest, publicly available wind energy dataset, ever. The WIND Toolkit is user-friendly way for anyone to quickly evaluate the viability of utility-scale wind energy resources, and download the data necessary for wind energy grid integration analysis.
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!
Last week, on Thursday, February 2, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Obama Administration is green-lighting the process for offshore wind leasing along the Mid-Atlantic coast. We applaud the Obama Administration for taking this much-needed step to jump start offshore wind development in the United States and look forward to supporting similar [...]