Data indicates heat wave a boon for potential offshore wind energy

Monday, August 1, 2011 @ 12:08 PM
posted by rene5432

Data suggests that the potential positive impact of offshore wind energy receives a significant boost during heat waves, an important finding given that electricity demand typically peaks during periods of very warm weather.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, officials surmised that when the heat wave struck in July, if the proposed 130 wind turbines had already been constructed on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, they would have been running near full capacity.

"Last week had the two highest electrical demand days of 2011," said Mark Rodgers, communications director for Cape Wind, "and we observed that the winds were very strong on Thursday and also above average on Friday."

Brian Colle, a meteorology professor, added that winds along the Massachusetts coast can often increase by 20 or 30 percent during the warmest months in the summer, according to the news source.

The data indicating that wind power may actually increase during summer days of peak demand coincides with a recent study that indicated wind farms do not adversely affect property values or revenues for school districts, according to the Illinois Farm Bureau.

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