On November 19, the City of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina officially became a “wind-powered economic zone” by proclamation of a City Council resolution. This resolution represents true leadership in the realm of clean energy and a genuine effort to better the community through economic development, community pride, and environmental protection. By becoming a wind [...]
About 3,500 megawatts of wind turbine capacity was in the path of Hurricane Sandy. As we wrote on October 26th, it wasn’t expected that Hurricane Sandy would cause much damage to wind turbines. Based on the experience from another Category 1 hurricane (Irene) that struck the Mid-Atlantic last year, the turbines in the region proved that they are built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
Thus far, it appears that no wind turbines suffered catastrophic failure because of Sandy.
Updated information now shows that offshore wind farms are at a lower risk from catastrophic hurricane damage than previously stated. A study published earlier this year by a suite of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University was spread widely through the mainstream media. Unfortunately, both the media, and the researchers, got the information wrong. We highlighted some of the problems of the study in a previous blog post, but it has now come to light that the researchers severely overstated the risk of hurricanes to wind farms.
Wind turbines are designed to withstand extreme weather. The risks of a catastrophic weather event are fairly well known and can be planned for, to an extent. Wind turbines are generally expected to survive up to a Category 3 hurricane. But, when failure occurs, a wind turbine failure is better than a failure at a coal, natural gas or nuclear power plant.
This is the final blog in a three part series examining how natural disasters like hurricanes impact our energy generation. In the past decade, wind turbines have sprouted up along the East Coast in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. As more wind farms are built in coastal [...]