Long chain of offshore wind turbines could power the entire Atlantic Seaboard

By joining a 1,550 mile long network of offshore wind turbines together, scientists at the University of Delaware say that we could provide consistent electrical power from Massachusetts to North Carolina.  By connecting all these turbines together over a long distance, you can smooth out any impacts that local conditions would have on the entire grid – that is, if the wind isn’t blowing in one part of the chain, its probably blowing in another part.

Willett Kempton and his team of researchers at the University of Delaware analyzed five years of offshore wind data from Florida to Maine.   What they found was that by combining power from the wind turbines that would have been in place, the overall power output from the combined turbines changed very slowly, even if individual stations were not producing any power at all.  Not once during the five year period studied did the overall power output drop to zero.   “We took an intermittent resource and made it not intermittent anymore,” Kempton said.

While there aren’t yet any US commercial offshore wind farms, several companies have started development on six offshore East Coast wind farms.   Offshore wind is considered to be a better source of power than wind on land, since the ocean has stronger and more constant winds.   But even with more consistent offshore winds, its still not consistent enough to guarantee always flowing power.   Kempton’s new study shows a way ahead to get that consistency out of offshore wind.

via: Wired News

2 thoughts on “Long chain of offshore wind turbines could power the entire Atlantic Seaboard

  1. For a little over 1-year now I have been reviewing all of the various comments, blogs and reports regarding the renewable and clean energy discussion. Anyone that is truly interested in advancing the use of alternative energies needs to understand that it can actually happen if and only if, they start appealing to individual’s “common sense”.
    When spoken about from a Political tone or even from a Social and Environmental voice, people tend not to want to listen. The fact is most people are disgusted with the political overtures thrown around the country. Once they get a sense that a politician is speaking of the subject, whether it be for the good or not, they tune out and the movement goes nowhere. The same rings true if spoken by an environmental activist type. The fact here is, most people do not want to be thought of as some “environmental greenie” type. Although, if the discussion were framed as an appeal to one’s “common sense” such as: 1) do you think we should STOP buying/importing oil from overseas…? Everyone spoken to would without a doubt answer emphatically YES! 2) Mention, are you aware that the U.S. uses 25% of the world’s oil but, can only produce 2% – so unless we do something else, we cannot stop importing the oil needed to survive. 3) Ask, are you aware that the U.S. Government, especially the military are currently using all sorts of renewable and clean energy to conduct their various businesses. 4) Express to the U.S. public that in China, only 1% of the population owns a car, yet the Chinese Government is aggressively pushing with big incentives its’ citizens to purchase automobiles, and that China’s population of course, is 3-times the size of ours – then ask, where do you think gasoline prices are going once their driving citizens get onboard? 5) Explain how by going renewable your electric bills will decrease. Of course however, if there is not a great demand for the renewable energy source, the prices are initially higher to the consumer but, if the demand were to arrive, prices would ultimately decrease, alas the way of “flat-screen televisions”.
    The tone of the conversation must change if there is to be any headway made in the advancements of renewable energy. EVERYBODY would welcome the change if and only if, the texture of the discussion was different. Take a peek at a new site I discovered online, http://www.reepedia.com
    It is my understanding that they are trying to change the texture of the discussion. Good for them, but better for the American people because, the current dialog hasn’t and isn’t getting us anywhere.

  2. wind power is the best option in the renewable energy division. Even I heard solar energy has some dis-advantages.

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