Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Power United States

Virginia Approves First Offshore Wind-Energy Turbine For US Waters 83

New submitter mike2400 writes "According to the Virginian Pilot, the U.S. is closer to having offshore wind turbines. Gamesa, a Spanish manufacturer, has partnered with Newport News Energy, a subsidiary of Newport News Ship Building and Huntington Ingles Industries, to build the first offshore wind turbine in the U.S. It will be located in the Chesapeake Bay off the shore of Cape Charles, VA, which is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The prototype 5 MW unit (the article said 5 kW — that's a typo) should be up and running by next year."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Virginia Approves First Offshore Wind-Energy Turbine For US Waters

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Too expensive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:09PM (#39504643) Journal

    If a $2.1 million bond is required in case they need to remove the structure.

    Yeah, clearly they should just work like every other industry in America and when they close up shop, dump it on the taxpayers as a Superfund site.

  • Re:Too expensive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:35PM (#39504795) Journal

    To be a bit more specific, the bond is posted to make sure that the cost of removing the structure is covered, even if the company goes out of business. At today's interest rates, that should not be a terrible burden on the company. (They probably issued bonds to cover the bond).

    Based on what is described in the article, this is how it should be done, IMO. No subsidies or tax gimmicks. The company, not the taxpayer, bears the economic risk. I tend to be skeptical of the viability of a lot of these alternative energy projects, but if they can make this work profitably, or even come close to breaking even while advancing the state of the art, it's a win for everyone. More power to 'em.

  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:17AM (#39505315) Journal

    you dont want to build anything even remotely wasteful in regards to solar or wind, but by god lets throw a trillion dollars down the toilet to invade iraq and afghanistan for ten fucking years and accomplish some goal that nobody ever defined clearly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @03:38AM (#39506011)
    When the wind doesn't blow, the power is supplied by the same standard power plants that have been running all this time. When the wind blows, those standard power plants can decrease their output. At least that's what they do in countries like Spain. In some cases, energy from the wind is stored in uphill reservoirs at night and used when demand is high. New batteries, hydrogen from electrolysis and other energy storage means are being developed.
  • by stomv ( 80392 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @06:37AM (#39506979) Homepage

    NREL's ewits study modeled wind speed every 10 minutes at 1000s of sites both on- and -off-shore on the Eastern Interconnect, excluding the Southeast, at 80m and 100m hub height. They included a number of sites in VA and NC, both on and off-shore. I just happen to be working on a study now involving the data.

    I chose 20 of their VA and NC offshore samples by sorting them by lat long and choosing every nth. I then ran the wind speed data of each sample through the power curve of a Vestas V112 3MW turbine [5MW turbines weren't appropriate for the study]. I then calculated the capacity factor at 100m hub height for all 8760*6*20 samples, and averaged. Capacity factor: 55.1%. Which is to say, the energy generated over the course of the year for a single 3 MW turbine at 100m hub height, expressed in MWh, will be 0.551 * 3MW * 8760. Of course, this is a model, not a prediction. The power density curve for a 5 MW turbine isn't exactly that of a 3 MW turbine, it may have maintenance issues, it may shut down during tropical storms and hurricanes, it may be in a site which is below the 20 site average, it may not be exactly 100m hub height (though 479 feet to tip of blade at max height seems close), it may and the NREL model which created the wind speeds may not be spot on either. I wouldn't bet the farm it hits 55.1% capacity factor, but I'd bet that it does significantly better than 33%.

    This isn't to pick on the parent of this post, but more generally... like everything, the details matter. Like all things non-CS/CE, the /. collective is smart and educated enough to understand the conclusions, but not experienced enough in the specific area to produce quality conclusions. /rant

    P.S. There isn't a "norm" for most wind... capacity factors on-shore in tUSA range from low 20s to almost 50. The capacity factor is only one input to determine the cost effectiveness of an installation. Other really important factors include the specific hours in the day that wind is expected to generating electricity, the challenge of installing turbines *at that specific location* [roads, foundation, transmission, etc], the requirements for permitting in that city/town and state (and sometimes Fed permitting too), the locational marginal price of electricity [if in ISONE, NYISO, PJM, ERCOT, CAISO, or to a lesser extent, MISO (ie New England, New York, North Atlantic ranging to Chicago, Texas, California, or the rest of the Midwest, roughly)] in the region, the value of capacity payments, the value of RECs or other environmental payments, and I'm sure I've left a few out.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...