Taller turbines: Big win(d) for the Southeast

This blog entry was written by Allie Brown, former Clean Energy Advocacy Manager at SACE.

Guest Blog | November 7, 2014 | Energy Policy, Wind

As wind turbines grow taller, so does the amount of clean energy they produce.

SACE’s new analysis released last month showed that advanced turbine technology is a game changer for wind energy in the Southeast. Taller turbines and longer blades are capable of capturing more wind, which results in harnessing more electricity and reducing costsSo, how powerful are these new turbines? Our new fact sheet below shows that each new modern wind turbine could provide about as much power as necessary for 600 homes, annually.

Modern wind turbines reaching greater heights can produce more electricity, thus displacing other, less environmentally friendly energy resources. The electricity generated by one modern scale wind turbine helps to avoid over 49,600 metric tons of CO2–equivalent to taking 10,452 cars off the road. Imagine the CO2 savings that could be generated from an entire wind farm of turbines, each with at least a 20 year lifespan!

With bigger turbines, wind energy has the ability to play a key role in the Southeast. These modern turbines greatly increase the amount of land viable in the region for development and now makes wind energy economically feasible across the Southeast. With access to winds at greater heights, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee each contain more than 25,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy potential, and a total estimated 134,000 MW of wind potential now exists within the Southern region. To put that number into perspective, that’s about half as much of the total installed electric utility capacity presently found here in the Southeast.

The Southeast currently contains only one wind farm, but with bigger, more powerful wind turbines, it likely won’t stay this way for long!

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