Block Island Wind Farm
This May, the 2,000 residents of Block Island, Rhode Island are making a fresh start when it comes to powering their lives. As of May 1, Block Island is the first location in the U.S. to be powered by an offshore wind farm — a wind farm that has eliminated the need for a diesel plant that was burning about one million gallons of dirty diesel fuel annually. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), diesel produces more carbon emissions than every other fossil fuel except for fuel oil.
The Block Island Wind Farm is intended to bring significant change, and not just on Block Island. The project was designed to serve as an example of the tremendous potential that offshore wind power holds for the United States. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has created a wind resource assessment and characterization study, which depicts this potential.- Excerpt from an article by Karla Lant
Think about it, the ocean is moving 24/7/365. Between the waves and the tides, there is a constant source of renewable energy being generated, but not being harvested. “Generating technologies for deriving electrical power from the ocean include tidal power, wave power, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), ocean currents, ocean winds and salinity gradients.
Of these, the three most well-developed technologies are tidal power, wave power and ocean thermal energy conversion. Tidal power requires large tidal differences which, in the U.S., occur only in Maine and Alaska. Ocean thermal energy conversion is limited to tropical regions, such as Hawaii, and to a portion of the Atlantic coast. Wave energy has a more general application, with potential along the California coast. The western coastline has the highest wave potential in the U.S.; in California, the greatest potential is along the northern coast.
California has more than 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) of coastline, and the combined average annual deep water wave power flux is over 37,000 megawatts (MW) of which an upper limit of about 20 percent could be converted into electricity. This is sufficient for about 23 percent of California’s current electricity consumption. However, economics, environmental impacts, land-use and grid interconnection constraints will likely impose further limits to how much of the resource can be extracted.
Although technology is still at a relatively immature pilot project stage, economic projections indicate that ocean energy could become cost-competitive over the long-term.”
“The comprehensive energy bill adopted this week by the Massachusetts legislature includes a provision requiring the state’s utilities to enter into long-term contracts to purchase both offshore wind and hydropower by 2027.
In addition to the 1,600 MW mandate for offshore wind, utilities would have to purchase an additional 9.45 million MWh of power annually from new Class I resources and hydropower,” writes Jennifer Delony, Associate Editor of Renewable Energy World magazine.
This move toward clean energy will create jobs and help keep the environment livable.
Here’s a link to an article about the latest good news about wind power in the US:
A new design for gigantic wind turbine blades longer than two football fields could help to bring 50 MW offshore wind turbines to the US and the global wind sector. These gigantic wind turbine blades could bring 50 MW offshore wind turbines to the US! Great news, eh?
The design for a 50 metre blade is part of the pathway towards 200 metre exascale turbines planned under a programme funded by the Department of Energy (DoE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an agency that is bringing together America’s best and brightest scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved a plan to develop a grid-connected, 12 MW offshore wind test facility off the coast of Virginia.
“Developing our clean energy resources is an essential element of building a new Virginia economy” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “With this research lease, Virginia is leading the way in building wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean and taking the next step toward the clean energy economy we need to create jobs and lower energy costs now and into the future.
BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper added that the data collected under the research lease will help the BOEM, DMME and other government agencies to understand the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to offshore wind power generation off the Virginia coast. It will also be useful to other groups such as universities, environmental organizations and industry.
For more of the story, go to: http://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/article/us-boem-approves-12-mw-virginia-wind-20150325