Tag Archives: Georgia Bight

Solar and wind can power Georgia

Solar power is here right now. Georgia is #10 in the nation (up from #22 in 2017) by solar deployed (1,552.98 MW) and #7 in projected growth, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s ahead of Florida, but still behind much farther north New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have less sun.

Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News
Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News

This Georgia solar improvement is despite Southern Company and Georgia Power cutting back on renewable energy investment last year and a hostile federal administration.

Graph: Georgia's Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews
Graph: Georgia’s Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews

Sheer economies of scale continue decreasing solar prices and driving more solar installations, with more jobs. Continue reading

Google shows the way on offshore wind

Zachary Shahan wrote for CleanTechnica yesterday, Google-backed Offshore Wind Power Superhighway Moves Forward,

The Department of the Interior stated on Monday that there was “no overlapping competitive interest” for the areas where the $5-billion project would be constructed. This decision leads us to the next step in the process — environmental review of the Atlantic Wind Connection line.

The article notes that environmental review could take 18-24 months, with a projected power online date of end of 2017. Southern Company projects Vogtle Unit 3 online in 2016 and Unit 3 in 2017. And that’s before the cost overruns that have already started. I’m guessing Google will have its Atlantic wind project up and running before Southern Company has any new nukes online, if they’re ever online.

And remember, the Atlantic Wind Connection is privately funded:

Other than Google, companies funding the project include Good Energies and Japan’s Marubeni Corp.

The cost is about $5 billion for 6,000 MW of wind energy generation.

Meanwhile, Southern Company has already overrun its nuke cost estimate by almost $1 billion within a few weeks of NRC go-ahead. It won’t take long at that rate for the cost overruns to exceed $5 billion. That’s on top of the perhaps $8.3 billion base cost. That’s for two 1,100 MW reactors, for 2,200 MW total.

What if Southern Company and private investors quit wasting resources on nukes and funded a Georgia Bight Wind Connection instead? After all, Georgia’s offshore waters are part of the East coast wind energy basket.


East coast wind energy basket

Claudia Collier went to a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting yesterday at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah, and said:

“I suggest you designate the East Coast as the wind energy basket.”
According to Orlando Montoya with GBP yesterday, Offshore Oil Proposal Fuels Debate, she added:
“We have at least five areas out there on the shallow shelf that have designated as very promising for wind. And I just believe that once the East Coast is opened up to oil and gas, they will just take over and wind will go by the wayside.”

Oil exploration, like nuclear, is a distraction from getting on with renewable wind, wave, and solar energy independence. Let’s do the study for energy reliability in Georgia including using the large offshore wind opportunity. Remember the BP Gulf oil spill! What do you get with a wind spill? Um, wind?

The first Claudia Collier quote is by Mary Landers in SavannahNow today, Off-shore Savannah drilling talk draws support, questions. Mary Landers concluded:

The comment period on the document remains open until May 30. A decision on allowing exploration is expected by the end of the year.
Continue reading

Energy reliability: let’s do the study for Georgia

Which energy source is really more reliable? Nuclear, coal, or wind, water, and sun?

As Plant Vogtle and others have just demonstrated, nuclear power isn’t as reliable as we might have thought. Mark Z. Jacobson says we can generate reliable power from wind, water, and sunlight alone. Will that work in Georgia?

Elsevier’s policy of charging for peer-reviewed articles from scientific journals is controversial, and some people find $19.95 prohibitive to access Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi’s Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part I: Technologies, energy resources, quantities and areas of infrastructure, and materials from Energy Policy Volume 39, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 1154-1169. Fortunately, the same authors wrote an earlier version for Scientific American, 26 October 2009, A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables: Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here’s how

A new infrastructure must provide energy on demand at least as reliably as the existing infrastructure. WWS technologies generally suffer less downtime than traditional sources. The average U.S. coal plant is offline 12.5 percent of the year for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Modern wind turbines have a down time of less than 2 percent on land and less than 5 percent at sea. Photovoltaic systems are also at less than 2 percent. Moreover, when an individual wind, solar or wave device is down, only a small fraction of production is affected; when a coal, nuclear or natural gas plant goes offline, a large chunk of generation is lost.
Continue reading

Wind + Google = Atlantic Wind Connection

Susan Kraemer writes in Clean Technica about Google Builds First US Off-Shore Superhighway for Clean Energy:
Some very exciting news for US clean energy today. Google announced on their blog last night that they will invest in building 350 miles of transmission off the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Virginia to tap into a gigantic off-shore wind potential that has only just been opened up this year with the first-ever US approval of an off-shore wind farm, by the Obama administration.

The new transmission cables, a superhighway for clean energy, will enable the connection of up to 6,000 MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.

Putting this system in place removes the major barrier: the lack of infrastructure, and should – with a friendly administration, jump-start off-shore wind in this country.

Doesn’t the Georgia Bight (coast of Florida, Georgia, SC, and NC, aka the South Atlantic Bight) have similar wind potential? Maybe somebody should start building a wind farm off of Savannah and invite google to fund transmission lines from there, too.