First Offshore Wind Farm On West Coast To Be Built In Oregon With 5 Floating Turbines
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has announced that the green light has been given to a Seattle company to develop plans to build the West Coast's first offshore wind energy farm. This new wind farm will contain five floating turbines. It will be built off Oregon's Coos Bay.
Offshore wind farms are an expensive energy source, but state leaders believe that the costs will be offset by the clean energy it will produce and the new jobs it will create. In the end they believe the new project will stimulate the economy.
Seattle based Principe Power will develop the project. It will use floating wind turbine technology that has not been deployed in U.S. waters. The technology is currently being used in Europe and Asia.
This new offshore wind farm will be located 15 miles from shore, in approximately 1,400 feet of water. The turbines will be connected by electrical cables. Power cables will transmit electricity to the mainland. The turbines will stand 600 feet tall.
There are other offshore wind farms in the works on the Atlantic coast, but they use turbines that are anchored to the seabed. These floating turbines will be a first for the region. Because the ocean gets deeper much quicker on the West Coast turbines in that region could not be planted into the seabed. Principle Power will be using turbines supported on floating platforms.
Back in December of 2012, Principle Power, Inc. received $4 million in Department of Energy funding for this project. The Seattle company submitted a request to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for a commercial wind energy lease back in May 2013. Although many fishermen in the region have concerns about the project they agreed to support it.
Steve Bodnar, executive director of the Coos Bay Trawlers' Association says,”Albatross and other birds could be chopped up in the turbines. And we still don't know if the sound or the electricity will interfere with sensitive species like salmon, Dungeness crab and whales. We're hoping to learn from this... whether it justifies wrecking prime fishing ground, displacing people and jobs."
Offshore wind power has been the new frontier in renewable energy and Oregon is leading the way in the United States.
About Tammy Marie Rose
Tammy Marie Rose is an author, blogger, freelance writer and Earth Warrior! She has over ten years professional writing experience in environmental fields.