Sunday, April 15, 2012
Big Wind Farm Plans on the Horizon
In spite of the recent negativity surrounding sustainable energies, one specific group seems to be getting a lot of positive press. Wind farms are creating jobs, getting funding, and finding their way onto just about every contintent. Major plans are being rolled out and acted on from India to Europe, China and the U.S. So while other industries see slumping sales, wind farms seem to be on the rise.
Scottish Development teamed up with the Indian Government in 2009 when they signed a co-development deal to build offshore turbines. The European made turbines will have to be adjusted to lesser winds speeds than they were initially designed to perform under, due to India’s unique wind conditions. A 100 meter mast will be designed to gauge wind levels in the area as well.
A recent study analyzed the natural environment off New York’s coast through the collaborated efforts of New York’s Department of State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project was created to insure the natural environment in the area will be protected against the creation of wind farms.
New York has joined New Jersey and other states with the similarly favorable geography in an endeavor to invest in renewable energy through creating offshore wind farms. New York is currently shopping for bids on wind power installations on 75 acres of land on Staten Island. Experts predict the site would generate about 20 megawatts of renewable energy. This estimation could sustain power for 6,000 households.
GDF Suez is a French energy company currently bidding for a job to create hundreds of wind turbines off France’s West Coast. They claim the project would create 6,000 jobs and 3,000 megawatts of energy. If they are granted the contract, they will create between 500 to 600 wind turbines and complete the project by 2015. Other companies are invested in the bidding war as well.
France relies heavily on nuclear energy and is planning on spending 20 billion euros to build about 1,200 offshore turbines by 2020. Critics have been gaining a voice against their nuclear program since the nuclear disaster in Japan. Other critics feel the offshore wind farm endeavors could ruin historical sites such as the D-Day battle which occurred on the beaches of Normandy.
The future of wind power may render energy in to a storable resource and lead to the creation of batteries. Wind power is cheap and clean but difficult to harness. The Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) is installing a 3 MW battery farm station next to their wind farm. The station was created by a company called Xtreme Power who plan on creating power storage facilities to compensate for moments when wind speed drops, creating a way to stabilize power usage and increase effectiveness.