Enough wind offshore to electrify America

CapeCodToday reports in the above noted article,

Wind power offshore can equal the present capacity of all landed power plants. U.S. Dept. of Energy report is another big leap forward for Cape Wind

There is as much wind power potential (900,000 megawatts) off our coasts as the current capacity of all power plants in the United States combined, according to a new report entitled, A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and General Electric.

And the greatest wind resources are off the Northeast Coasts

The Framework report finds the greatest wind power potential offshore the highly-populated urban coastal areas of the northeast and it recognizes the roles of Cape Wind and the Long Island offshore wind project in creating the momentum to develop offshore wind power in the United States. The three passages below are examples of these points being made in the Framework:

1. The United States is getting started with two serious project proposals located off the coasts of Massachusetts and New York. Sustaining and building on this momentum will require leadership and the collective action of all interested parties.

2. “Most of the total potential offshore wind resources exist relatively close to major urban load centers, where high energy costs prevail and where opportunities for wind development on land are limited. This is especially true in the densely populated Northeast, where nearly one-fifth of that national populations lives on less than 2% of the total land area.

3. Offshore wind energy is also an attractive option for the Northeast because slightly more than half the country’s offshore wind potential is located off the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts, where water depths generally deepen gradually with distance from shore. This attribute allows for the initial development of offshore wind in relatively shallow waters followed by a transition to deeper waters further for shore as the technology is advanced.”

Jim Gordon, the President of Cape Wind, was pleased to see the Framework’s recognition of the role that offshore wind can play in addressing key national priorities, saying, “The Framework recognizes that offshore wind can meet a significant share of the energy requirements of the Northeast while helping to diversify our energy sources, protect public health and the environment, create jobs, help stabilize energy prices and make us more energy independent.” Gordon continued, “Cape Wind will help to catalyze America’s use of offshore wind to become a major supply of energy for the Northeast.”

Much more in the article and at CapeWind.org.

Interesting concept and certainly not as potentially dangerous or poisoning of our atmosphere as some other options might be.

Comments on: "Enough wind offshore to electrify America" (3)

  1. erictravis said:

    Fran… and I thought you were an animal lover…

    How to kill two birds with one wind farm
    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    I’ve come up with the working solution to the problem of migratory birds flying into wind turbines off the coast of Galveston and being chewed to pieces.

    Never mind that they’ll provide a wonderful spot for saltwater fishermen. All those dead birds dropping out of the sky will attract the fish. Every Cajun in Louisiana will be anchored next to these rigs and setting up a trotline.

    And what a great place to start a cat food plant.

    The General Land Office last fall signed a deal to create a $220 million wind farm near Galveston. This operation would consist of 50 huge turbines with 250-foot-wide rotors that together could power 40,000 homes — and knock off God knows how many tufted titmice.

    The concern is that the whirring blades will sit in the way of Nearctic-Neotropical birds that breed in the United States and Canada and winter in Latin America, making it necessary for them to cross the Gulf of Mexico twice a year.

    The fear is that these birds — a diversity of warblers, scarlet and summer tanagers, orioles, vireos, and fly catchers among them — will fly into the blades and get mulched.

    So? Let’s put in a bulk songbird cat food factory.

    Think of all the cats the Humane Society could feed from the birds that are fixing to be Soprano’ed by these wind machines. Just place a large funnel underneath the blades, collect the dead birds in large plastic buckets underneath these enormous whirligigs and set to canning ’em up.

    If a bird is too stupid to migrate, it deserves to die.

    I can hear it now as the birds, on their way to and from, fly into the blades and plop into the containers below: cathunk cathunk cathunk cathunk cathunk.

    This would require the implementation of the popular but noisy Black & Decker plucking machine.

    You know these nutty little old ladies who get busted by the county sheriff for having 99 cats at home? Take the cat lady’s cats out below the wind farm and let them dine. This would clean up the old bag’s yard back in town.

    You know, you forest-friendly fruitcakes can’t have it both ways.

    See, here’s the deal. People who want to stop global warming — and I’m one of them because I hate breaking a sweat — are all in favor of putting up these wind turbines. After all, they would create an alternative source of energy.

    But now the chickadee coddlers at the Audubon Society have their feathers in a pile, because they’re afraid some of the millions of birds that migrate across the Gulf of Mexico will eat the big one.

    I’m sorry, but doesn’t survival of the fittest count for something?

    Your smart birds have been avoiding obstacles for years. A smart bird would see that turbine and think, “You know, that’s a great place to perch. I think I’ll just sit here overnight and catch my breath before I move on to Canada.”

    If a bird is too dumb to take this approach and just keeps truckin’ full-tilt boogie into the machinery, what’s the loss?

    John Kelso’s column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 445-3606 or jkelso@statesman.com.

  2. Wow, Kurt! I didn’t think of that! Likely because there aren’t migratory birds that fly out over the Northeast ocean generally. But then there are the seabirds that would likely be affected … Is there no form of fuel or energy that is safe to use?!

    Daggone it, environmentalists don’t want us to use fossil fuels, nuclear power, trees, water … what’s left? They’d likely find some fault with ‘energy from the vacuum too.’ 😉

    How about this … get engineers to create the perfect ‘pitch’ for warding off the birds and with precision instruments cut these ‘whistles’ into the blades. It will be too high for humans’ ears, and out at sea wouldn’t bother human or critters, but would ward off the migratory birds in time to save themselves. AND when the wind stops, so does the ‘whistle.’

    Seem plausible? Might be a good idea.

    And we’ll likely never get credit for it! LOL!

  3. erictravis said:

    What a great idea. Amazing nobody’s considered it…

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