Seizing our massive offshore wind potential

It’s been quite the summer for U.S. offshore wind power! Following months of unprecedented progress in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Obama Administration released a strategy today that charts a collective path forward for the U.S. to seize the immense clean energy potential off our shores.

Why 2015 Will Be a Pivotal Year for the US Offshore Wind Industry

Last week I attended the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual offshore WINDPOWER conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Wind energy developers, government officials, non-profit advocates, and academia came together to discuss exciting developments in the U.S. offshore wind energy industry.

U.S. Offshore Wind Power Advancing Off Of Drawing Boards And Into The Water, New DOE Report Says

Could the U.S. go from being nowhere on offshore wind power to having over a dozen projects built over the next five to seven years? That’s a very real possibility, according to a report just released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The report, prepared by Navigant Consulting, is DOE’s third annual Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis. And it assesses the progress the country has made in building the offshore wind power industry that holds out a whole host of benefits for us all.

North Carolina takes significant step towards offshore wind energy development

North Carolina is one step closer to developing an offshore wind farm. Yesterday, August 11, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced three Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of North Carolina. The three wind WEAs, totaling 307,590 acres, have been identified as areas suitable for potential offshore wind energy development.

11 Reasons Wind Energy Will Work for Georgia

In Savannah June 20, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols hosted an event titled “Wind Energy, Will it Work for Georgia?” Based on the dozens of stakeholders present and expert presentations given, here are 11 reasons why wind energy will, and does, work for Georgia.

Shady attacks on renewable energy in North Carolina

North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) is under attack and it’s no surprise that the fight is led by fossil fuel power funded lobbyists. It’s the usual suspects: American Legislative Council Exchange (ALEC), John Locke Foundation and Americans for Prosperity (AFP)–all activist groups funded by fossil fuel and nuclear interests. These groups are leading a misinformation campaign to repeal REPS, a state policy that drives clean energy development for North Carolina. REPS has been an important driver of renewable energy growth in the state, with North Carolina ranking second in the nation in 2013 for installed solar PV.

Georgia’s Offshore Wind Energy Potential Showcased at CoastFest

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!

A Surge of Misinformation on Wind Farms and Hurricanes

This doesn’t mean that hurricanes pose no threat to wind farms. Even though wind turbines are designed to withstand serious weather (up to a Category 3 hurricane), super typhoons in Asia have had some serious impacts on wind farms onshore in China and Japan. Dr. Powell stressed that more accurate data in real life situations is necessary in order to better evaluate and design wind turbines for extreme weather. While previous data on hurricanes has been collected further offshore, Dr. Powell is working with the Department of Energy and NOAA to collect data closer to the coast in shallower water where offshore wind farms would be located.

Georgia Puts Toes in the Water for Offshore Wind Energy

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it will be preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for a potential  meteorological data collection facility offshore from Tybee Island, Georgia. The EA is the next step in advancing Southern Company’s potential plans for building meteorological tower and/or meteorological buoy to gather data to help determine the feasibility of [...]

NWF Releases New Report in Support of Offshore Wind Energy

Yesterday, the National Wildlife Federation, SACE and over 45 partner organizations issued a new report, The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future. This report looks at several aspects of offshore wind development, including the environmental and economic benefits, the [...]