Thursday, December 9, 2010

US Atlantic Coast Great for Wind Power

Steady Wind

The National Wildife Federation's recent report calls the US Atlantic coast from Florida to Maine a wind hotspot. It's the mother lode for US offshore wind with abundant shallow water and yes, lots of wind.

The stretch from New Jersey to North Carolina is the gustiest of the lot with 298.1 potential Gigawatts. With one Gigawatt powering roughly 260,000 American homes, that's more than enough to get Marty McFly back to the future and to give climate change a kick in the pants.

Of course, appropriately recognizing the value of marine life and habitat is essential when siting offshore wind turbines. This appears well-understood.

According to the report, "while the most extensive European study concluded that offshore wind farms do not appear to have long-term or large-scale ecological impacts, major data gaps for the Atlantic Ocean still exist and site-specific impacts need to be evaluated. The report goes on to encourage a "coordinated, comprehensive, and well-funded effort" to address these gaps.

Also, the report notes how the US is already behind Europe and China in producing wind power. Come on!

The Portland Press Herald provided some good coverage of the wind report. Read the full story here.

The study is a great read too. Peruse it here.

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