Archives for posts with tag: Wind

The Pacific Northwest state of Oregon is already home to America’s second largest land-based wind farm — the 845 megawatt (MW) Shepherds Flat Wind Farm. Now the state has taken a big step closer to hosting the west coast’s first offshore wind farm. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) just approved plans for Seattle-based Principle Power develop five floating turbines off Coos Bay.The 30 MW pilot project will be located in about 1,400 feet of water roughly 15 miles off the Oregon coast. The reason for using floating turbine technology in deep water as opposed to wind turbines anchored to the seabed in shallow water has to do with the west coast’s narrow continental shelf.

Green Halo Winder Farm Energy Power Environment

“This pioneering project would demonstrate floating wind turbine technology capable of tapping the rich wind energy resources in deep waters offshore Oregon. As we look to broaden our nation’s energy portfolio, the innovative technology and its future application holds great promise along the West Coast and Hawaii,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. She added that the west coast holds the potential for more than 800 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy and the potential for U.S. deep water wind energy is nearly 2,000 GW.

The project will move into the environmental analysis and public comments phase once Principle Power submits its plans to BOEM for final approval. In December, 2012, the company received $4 million in funding for the project from the Department of Energy (DOE). Principle Power was one of seven to receive funding and the only company located on the west coast. The DOE will choose three of the projects for an additional $46.6 million in funding.

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A common misconception about hurricanes is that wind is your worst enemy:

“Most people, when they hear hurricane, think wind first and maybe water second,” said Jamie Rhome, storm surge specialist at the National Hurricane Center. “Given the fact that water is killing more people, we’ve got to start thinking water first.”

On Friday, the National Hurricane Center announced that it will add storm surge maps to text warnings when the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season begins in June.

The color-coded maps will show geographical areas where inundation from storm surge could occur and how high water might reach. The maps will be updated every six hours during a threat.

“A lot of coastal residents, including those vulnerable to storm surge, simply don’t understand storm surge,” Rhome said. “This map is one of several steps aimed at improving communication and better highlighting the risk.”

Storm surge — an abnormal rise of water pushed onto shore by a hurricane — was the culprit in the three deadliest storms in U.S. history: the Galveston hurricane of 1900 (more 8,000 killed), the Lake Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 (2,500 killed) and Hurricane Katrina of 2005 (more than 1,800 killed).

While those tragedies were all major hurricanes, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 proved that even a post-tropical cyclone can still produce catastrophic storm surge. Sandy caught many people off-guard when the storm drove a 9-foot surge of water above ground in parts of New Jersey and New York.

For the last few years, meteorologists and emergency managers have been working on ways to get the public to think beyond wind-strengths associated with hurricane forecasts.

The National Weather Service says the maps will be used on an experimental basis for at least two years while they collect feedback from emergency personnel and the public. Heller says he knows the amount of planning that has gone into the maps and doesn’t doubt their value.

Green Halo 2014 Hurricane Warning Flooding Map

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