Georgia Power studying wind off Tybee Island, GA

Instead of even considering oil drilling off the Atlantic coast, which is massively opposed by coastal communities, how about get on with offshore wind turbines? They’re no harder to build than deep-sea oil rigs, and if a hurricane blows them over, they don’t leak oil, like BP did into the Gulf, which will never be cleaned up, anymore than the Exxon Valdes disaster in Alaska. Japan is already doing it, in waters with typhoons just as strong as Atlantic hurricanes. Wind is clean, just what we need!

Cory Dickstein, SavannahNow, 20 June 2014, Georgia Power studying possible wind turbines, Georgia’s Coast, or Tybee’s shore,

Tybee Island earlier this year decided to pass on wind energy for the beach community, but the potential for wind turbines on the island or a few miles off its coast in the future still exists.

About five months after Tybee elected to forgo a controversial wind turbine an unnamed corporation offered to provide mostly free of charge, officials with Georgia Power and other agencies from across the state met in Savannah to discuss wind energy’s future….

Like solar power that Georgia Power and others have championed in recent years as a clean alternative energy for the state, wind power has many environmental benefits. Wind turbines release no air-polluting emissions or dangerous waste streams, there is nothing to extract from the earth and it is an inexhaustible fuel source, said Mary Hallisey Hunt, a researcher and the director of operations for the Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute. She was among the featured speakers Friday morning at Georgia Power’s local headquarters in downtown Savannah….

See also Mary Hallisey Hunt, Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute, June 25, 2008, Southern Winds: An Offshore Wind Feasibility Study for the South Atlantic Bight and Georgia Tech and Southern Company, Southern Winds: Summary Project Report 2007, A study of wind power generation potential off the Georgia coast.

Back to the SavannahNow story:

Currently, Georgia Power is conducting a pair of studies to determine if those pros outweigh the cons and whether investing in wind turbines is feasible, said Ervan Hancock, the power utility’s manager for renewable energies.

“The technology continues to improve and get better to try to capture these wind resources,” said Hancock, who said Georgia Power began seriously considering wind energy in 2005. “Right now we’re in the process of doing smaller scale wind demonstrations … so we can figure out how that resource fits into the mix.”

Those demonstrations include both a land-based study and a study to determine the potential for off-shore wind turbines.

The first study includes the placement of five small wind turbines at a not-yet-determined coastal Georgia location by mid-2015 and the installation of two identical turbines at a location in the north Georgia mountains.

The second study, to determine the potential of placing turbines in the relatively shallow waters several miles off Tybee’s coast, [Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim] Echols said, likely has more potential because few people — both in coastal and mountainous regions — want the turbines in visible locations.

It’s no secret there’s wind off the Georgia coast, as seen in NREL wind maps.

While Georgia Power studies the problem, in Japan wind turbines withstood the tsunami that took down the Fukushima nuclear reactor. Two years ago, Japan built the world’s largest wind turbine off Fukushima to generate 7MW. Unlike the failed Fukushima nuclear units, that turbine won’t leak radioactivity into the ocean. And it’s a floating turbine, the better to withstand typhoons and tsunamis. Fukushima nuclear operator TEPCO has a 2MW floating turbine operational as LAKE reported in 2013. And that’s not all. Ivan Shumkov, SeeNews Renewables, 19 January 2016, NEDO to support 270 MW of Japanese offshore wind through 2017,

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) said on Monday it will support the development of 270 MW of offshore wind projects in Japanese waters.

NEDO intends to subsidise a part of the project costs associated with a 170-MW project close to the Port of Noshiro in Akita Prefecture that is being developed by local conglomerate Marubeni Corp (TYO:8002) and construction group Obayashi Corp (TYO:1802). In addition, the organisation plans to back a 100-MW development within the Ishikari Bay in Hokkaido Prefecture, undertaken by Green Power Investment.

NEDO noted it will subsidise the two projects through fiscal year 2017, which ends on March 31.

Apart from the financial support, the organisation will also help with certain assessments in connection with construction, operating costs and environmental impacts, it said in a statement on its website.

Instead of continuing absurdly high subsidies of tens of billions of dollars per year to the fossil fuel industry, let’s get on with wine off the Georgia coast and solar power inland!