States in the United States’ southeast portions, from Arkansas to Florida, could soon expect seeing the construction of a wind farm that will supply at least 204 megawatts of electricity in the area.
A report by the Associated Press states Spanish developer Iberdrola Renewables LLC has started putting in equipment and placing crews on a vast tract of old North Carolina farmland near the coastal community of Elizabeth City. Around 102 turbines are targeted to be erected on 22,000 acres of land. Once operational, the farm could power up 60,000 homes.
Data from the U.S. Energy Department showed 20 percent of the country’s electricity requirements by 2030 could be derived from wind. To achieve this, archived plans to erect a wind farm in the Southeast and other new areas must be done.
Craig Poff, one of the developers, admitted to AP the area wasn’t seen as viable before. “In the past this site barely showed up on old (wind) maps. It was a little brown smudge on the color-coded wind resource maps,” Poff said. The region had barely winds. If on occasions it does, it is “light” and “fluctuating.”
But with the invention of taller towers and bigger turbines, developers and the state and federal governments started looking again into the potential in the South.
“The larger-diameter rotors are really the game-changer here,” Poff said.
Jose Zayas, director of the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office at the Department of Energy, said the agency had discovered that there is ample wind if they go putting the turbines at much higher grounds.
But a concern involves the region’s birds and bats. It is highly likely that the wind turbines will endanger the birds flying in the area.
Which makes Zayas say that there lies the biggest question really in pushing the wind farm project in the Southeast. “The question is how you get there responsibly and economically.”