Offshore Wind Off The East Coast

by Carolyn Elefant on February 1, 2007

This article, Researchers find substantial wind resource off Mid-Atlantic coast (University of Delaware News, 2/1/07) reports that a team of University of Delaware researchers
have found that the wind over the Middle Atlantic regions, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, could produce 330 gigawatts of electric power.
According to the article:

the study marks the first empirical analysis in the United States of a large-scale region’s potential offshore wind-energy supply using a model that links geophysics with wind-electric technology–and that defines where wind turbines at sea may be located in relation to water depth, geology and “exclusion zones” for bird flyways, shipping lanes and other uses.

What’s also interesting about the study is that it compared the offshore wind resource to oil and gas resources, and concluded that the wind resource was more substantial:

In comparison to the oil and natural gas resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf–the submerged land that lies seaward from 3 miles offshore and is under federal jurisdiction–the researchers found that the shelf’s reported energy sources would amount to only one-tenth of the wind resource and would be exhausted in 20 years.

It would be nice to have similar data about our offshore marine renewables to support policy decisions about resource development.

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