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Experts To Discuss Wind Energy Potential in the US Southeast

On July 24th, in Charlotte, N.C., the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition will convene key stakeholders for a working session to discuss Wind Energy Resource Assessment and Data Collection in the Southeast. Experts from industry, national labs, and universities will explore wind energy resource assessment efforts related to coastal and offshore wind in the region, determine existing data gaps and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

The estimated wind energy potential in the Southeastern states has increased with recent technological advancements for turbines in areas with lower wind speeds.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that increasing tower heights from 96 meters to 110 meters can create over 300,000 square kilometers of additional land for potential wind development, with significant land added in the Southeast.  The Southeast also has an enormous potential for offshore wind, with 63 percent of the shallow water resource on the East Coast attributed to the states from Virginia to Georgia.

“With the significant potential for wind energy development in the Southeast, we see great value in exploring opportunities for new partnerships on research activities that will advance the wind industry in the region," said Graham Howe, Director of Sales at AXYS Technologies. 

The Southeast is home to a variety of exciting research initiatives dealing with wind energy resource assessment and data collection. These efforts are being conducted by academic institutions, government entities, and the private sector, and include topics such as ocean-atmospheric modeling, data collection from met-towers and buoys, hurricane modeling, and many more. To inform workshop discussions, the coalition is compiling a comprehensive summary report of all relevant research efforts currently underway in the Southeast.

Representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, AWS Truepower, Renewable NRG Systems, Southern Company and the Savannah River National Laboratory will bring all attendees up to speed at the start of the event.  Afterwards, all attendees will participate in a round-table discussion to assess progress in the region and generate ideas for future efforts.

This workshop is a new concept — it will not be your standard "sit and listen" conference,” said Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition.  “Instead, it will be an interactive working session among subject-matter experts that will make real progress on a topic of significant importance to wind energy in the Southeast.”

Lead image: Wind Turbine via Shutterstock

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