Offshore Wind Could Cool Heat Waves

July 22, 2012

One more reason why climate deniers hate wind energy, and have mounted a well organized and well funded campaign to sabotage it.

AWEA:

Record-high temperatures along the East Coast in recent weeks have spurred conversation about the availability of electric capacity during peak usage, and one offshore developer has a point to contribute to that conversation: hot temperatures are a boon for offshore wind energy.

Deepwater Wind this week released data showing that its planned Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC), a 900-MW offshore wind farm that would be located 20 miles off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, would reach maximum output on the hottest days of summer in the Northeast, just when electric grids most need the energy.

During the first heat wave of the season, in late June, temperatures and the electric demand on Long Island surged. For example, on June 21, a new high for the date was set on Long Island as the temperature peaked at 95 degrees in the late afternoon. Electric demand followed that temperature rise. Likewise, demand for electricity in New England also soared during the heat wave.

Data modeled by Deepwater Wind’s meteorological experts, AWS Truepower, show that DWEC would have been operating near its maximum output during the afternoons of both June 20 and June 21, when the heat wave was at its peak. While the wind farm is projected to produce at an average of approximately 45 percent capacity over the course of a full year, it would have been producing much more, in the range of 65-90 percent capacity, during most of the hottest hours of the heat wave.

“One of the great benefits of offshore wind power is that its output surges during those hot afternoons in the dog days of summer,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Bill Moore. “This is because of the well-known ‘sea breeze’ effect. When temperatures rise on shore and heat the air, that hot air rises. The resulting drop in air pressure on shore causes cooler air from the ocean to accelerate toward the coast. Those cooler ocean breezes also produce steady wind that powers our offshore wind turbines.”

Another Northeast developer, Cape Wind, has pointed to similar data from its wind measurement instruments during heat waves.

Deepwater Wind has proposed to sell power from DWEC to the Long Island Power Authority via a new transmission system connecting Long Island and southeastern New England. The developer also intends to market power from DWEC to Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“This is one more reason that offshore wind is the best new energy resource option for New England and Long Island,” said Moore. “Both areas are close to one of the best offshore wind sites in America, and we can deliver that clean, renewable energy exactly when we need it—on hot summer days and all year long.”

5 Responses to “Offshore Wind Could Cool Heat Waves”


  1. […] One more reason why climate deniers hate wind energy, and have mounted a well organized and well funded campaign to sabotage it. AWEA: Record-high temperatures along the East Coast in recent weeks …  […]

  2. MorinMoss Says:

    Oh, don’t be so hard on our denialist brothers. They’re just afraid that channeling all that wind might blow the planet off-course.

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    On a more serious note, I really do hope this is accurate. In combination with solar panels, this hot-weather peak with offshore wind means less nasty coal needed when the air conditioners are working their hardest.

  4. pjssjr Says:

    Totally off-topic but have seen what Anthony Watts is putting up on his roof?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/21/open-thread-weekend-12/#more-67897


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: