A team of experts in the United Kingdom evaluated the risk of a wind turbine accident. Because actual, real-world wind turbine accidents are extremely rare events (once every 10,000 years per turbine per year), the experts ran millions of simulations of virtually all the possible ways a wind turbine blade can become detached and how far blade pieces could travel. The experts for the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive summed up their research like this: “The risk of fatality from wind turbines (at 2 hub heights or greater from the turbine) is low in comparison to other societal risks. It is roughly equivalent to the risk of fatality from taking two aircraft flights per annum.” The experts also noted you’re also more likely to die by taking four fairground rides per year than from a wind turbine blade/fragment.
Wind turbine technology has advanced significantly in the past few years, enabling wind farms to sprout up in new areas, particularly in the Southeast. Taller turbines and longer blades are capable of capturing more wind, which results in harnessing more electricity and reducing costs. Even as new wind development promises sustainable economic development in rural counties, in some cases new wind farm proposals are being met with hostility and resistance. North Carolina is a recent example of new turbine technology creating opportunities and opposition, as anti-wind activists use confusion and misinformation to press for wind farm bans that are disguised as regulation.
Wind energy has reached record low prices. Wind energy has reached $32-$77 per megawatt hour (MWh) without federal incentives. If the federal Production Tax Credit or Investment Tax Credit is included, wind energy pricing may be $14-$63/MWh.
Utility-scale solar power has reached record low prices. Solar power has reached $50-$70/MWh without federal incentives.
The favorable environmental assessment helps pave the way for up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power to be delivered into the south. That amount of wind power could generate as much electricity consumed by nearly 1.5 million southern homes and would more than double the amount of wind power purchased in the region. Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, the Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are already purchasing over 3,000 megawatts of wind power, with utilities planning to purchase gigawatts more.
Buy Clean Energy T-shirts this Holiday Season…& Support SACE! The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is excited to announce that this year, there’s a couple of colorful, socially-conscious and environmentally-sustainable options you can purchase for anyone on your list. And guess what…you don’t have to wait in long lines at the mall! Shop online and [...]
Yesterday, South Carolina reached a major milestone in advancing potential offshore wind energy development in years to come. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal regulator that oversees offshore wind development, announced plans to publish two major documents that close in on eventual offshore wind leasing. The two documents are a Notice of [...]
Construction began this summer on the first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina, and one of the first in the southeastern U.S., the Amazon Wind Farm US East, powered by Iberdrola Renewables. This exciting development in rural northeastern North Carolina will deliver significant local economic benefits over the life of the project, starting with a huge boost for local companies and workers during construction. It will soon be the largest taxpayer in each of the two counties where it’s located, and combined with landowner lease payments, will inject more than $1.1 million into the local economy each year.
By ignoring the benefits of wind energy, anti-wind activists have concocted a false narrative against the wind energy PTC. Anti-wind activists ignore wind energy benefits including health and air quality improvements (worth 4¢/kWh), fossil fuel price volatility hedging and reduced electric rates (worth 2.3¢/kWh), new local, state and federal tax revenue (a net worth of 0.5¢/kWh) plus water savings (worth 0.2¢/kWh). These otherwise “free” benefits of wind power, and enabled by the wind energy PTC. The facts are clear: wind power’s benefits outweigh any cost associated with the PTC.
“A resilient power system is flexible, responds to challenges, enables quick recoveries, and is available when we need it most. Developing resilient power resources means shifting away from relying on a centralized grid to a more decentralized system designed to meet essential grid loads, even during extreme weather events. Most importantly, a resilient approach that places efficient and clean energy technologies at the core of its solutions helps our communities prepare for a climate-impacted future while also reducing the emissions that are driving those effects.”
UPDATE: This post was updated to reflect the addition of the Bald Head Island public information meeting on October 6. After a multi-year process of identifying where offshore wind farms might be developed off the coast of North Carolina, federal regulators have concluded that initial activities involved with site studies will have negligible environmental impacts. [...]