http://www.cleanenergy.org/2013/08/12/summer-sea-breezes-can-cool-the-palmetto-state/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Summer Sea Breezes Can Cool the Palmetto State

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 865-235-1448, jennifer@cleanenergy.org

Summer Sea Breezes Can Cool the Palmetto State
Report Shows How Offshore and Nearshore Winds Could Provide High Value, Summertime Power for South Carolina and Other Parts of the Southeast

Charleston, S.C. (August 12, 2013) – New findings released today by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) show that offshore and nearshore wind energy resources could power air conditioners and keep utility bills low in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Electric companies struggle to supply enough electricity during peak summertime periods. As a result, these companies may spend substantially more for a kilowatt in the summertime than other times of the year. Due to a natural phenomenon called the Sea Breeze Effect, offshore and nearshore wind farms could provide high-value peak power using a free fuel: the wind.

“South Carolina utilities, including Duke Energy and South Carolina Electric & Gas, could use Charleston’s breezes to cool offices and homes in Columbia,” said Simon Mahan, SACE’s Renewable Energy Manager and author of the study Sea Power. “Existing peaking generators, like natural gas combustion turbines, and on-peak electricity costs tend to be a utility’s most expensive power resource. Developing offshore and nearshore wind resources could reduce the need to depend on those costly resources,” said Mahan.

The Sea Breeze effect occurs in coastal zones where the temperature difference between the land and ocean cause the air to flow, creating a breeze. In the Southeast, the Sea Breeze Effect occurs when utilities need it most: hot summertime afternoons. The study’s findings suggest that the Palmetto State’s summertime wind resources have the strongest positive correlation with utility demand in the region.

South Carolina’s wind resources in August have the strongest positive correlation with Progress Energy Carolinas (now Duke Energy) demand (+0.54) and slightly lower but still positive correlations in June (+0.51) and July (+0.47) as well. This resource even shows promise during the wintertime, when offshore and nearshore wind resources approximate base load energy like coal or nuclear power plants and have positive correlation during daylight hours (6AM-7PM).

However, South Carolina is not the only Southern state that can benefit from developing abundant offshore wind resources. North Carolina’s wind resources in August have the strongest positive correlation with Duke Energy’s demand (+0.50) and lower but still positive correlations in June (+0.08) and July (+0.48) as well. This resource also shows promise during winter months, when offshore and nearshore wind resources approximate base load energy like coal or nuclear power plants and have positive correlation during daylight hours (6AM-7PM).

While lower than the Carolinas, Georgia’s wind resources also have potential as an energy source for the region. August shows the strongest positive correlation with Georgia Power’s demand (+0.38) with lower but still positive correlations seen in June (+0.16) and July (+0.32) as well. Georgia’s wind resource also shows promise during winter months, when offshore and nearshore wind resources approximate base load energy like coal or nuclear power plants and have positive correlation during daylight hours (6AM-7PM).

SACE will host a webinar on August 13th at 11AM where Simon Mahan, Renewable Energy Manager, will release the findings of the Sea Power study and be available for questions. You can register for the webinar here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/185346103

The full South Carolina report is available for download here.

The full North Carolina report is available for download here.

The full Georgia report is available for download here.

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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org