Professional Engineers Of North Carolina

FALL 2014

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20 the Professional Engineer Fall 2014 because that's where they were being deployed. But, in response to market needs over just the last few years, manufacturers have unveiled turbines designed for lower wind speed sites. Tat change has had a dramatic impact on the viability of wind energy in places such as the Southeast. What is changing is the "specifc power" rating of the turbines, measured in watts per square meter. Tat rating has been getting lower; and, in this case, lower is better. A lower specifc power means that, for a given size generator, the swept area of the turbine blades — and therefore the amount of wind being harnessed — is greater. (See U.S. map.) In layman's terms, this means blades are longer and towers are taller. Tat has the added beneft of putting the turbine where the wind is more powerful higher up. All of this results in signifcant increases to capacity factors. And even with the added cost of longer blades, that change greatly improves the economics of wind in regions such as the Southeast. Offshore as a frontier Ofshore wind is an energy and economic development opportunity the scale of which is perhaps unparalleled in the Southeast. Te U.S. W i n d 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 North Carolina South Carolina Virginia Georgia Massachusetts New Jersey New York Maryland Maine Deleware Connecticut Rhode Island Water depth 0-30m 30m-60m Below 60m Offshore wind resource potential gigawatts Source: Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Resources for the United States Department of Energy estimates that the nation has a potential of 4,150 gigawatts of ofshore wind capacity — more than four times the country's total generating capacity. North Carolina has by far the largest ofshore wind resource potential of any East Coast state. When one looks in both shallow water (less than 30 meters) and more than 12 nautical miles ofshore — a distance at which visibility is signifcantly limited — the Southeastern states have a full 82 percent of the New deployable land resulting from increasing hub height from 96 meters to 110 meters 0 0.001-50.000 50.001-00.000 100.001-200.000 200.000-300.000 300.001-405.000 Area change (sq. km)

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