Jan 30, 2011

When it comes to offshore windpower, the Shadow knows....

The ocean windpower extraction industry is now nervous about how more serious than earlier believed is the problem of "wind shadow" when positioning the mega windcomplexes envisioned off the Atlantic coast far enough apart to not reduce the wind too much between them.  The data from the Norwegian and other european ocean windmill operations is in and it is not pretty.

Read the January 10, 2011 letter from Blue Water Wind to federal wind agency BOEMRE: "...mitigation of potential shadowing effects on the Mid‐Atlantic Wind Park off Delaware must be considered"..."In this case, NRG Bluewater’s analysis indicates that turbines in the northern reaches of the Maryland RFI area will shadow some of the southernmost turbines of the proposed Mid‐Atlantic Wind Park." 

QUESTION: If impact of shadowing is enough to affect the performance of ocean windmills miles away, what affect must  wind energy extraction be having on the energetics of the oceanic ecosystem in the air and water currents flowing though these windparks? The significance of this on coastal currents is only beginning to be understood . Could Penobscot Bay lose its lobsters?  Could the Chesapeake lose its blue crabs? 

The Shadow knows....or those who plan to make those shadows.

Theoretically, yes, if larvae-bearing surface currents are slightly diverted from their landward wind drift by the giant wind armadas proposed to be stationed off the atlantic coast, from Maine to North Carolina, they could very well end of missing their home bays.

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