Electric utilities in the southeast usually experience high-demand peak electrical demand during the summertime. To supply power at peak demand, utilities may rely on more expensive power plants, like combustion natural gas turbines. However, a natural phenomenon in coastal and offshore areas may help supplant these higher cost peaking power plants. The Sea Breeze Effect occurs when cool ocean air rushes inland where warmer air is rising; this effect is prominent on hot summer afternoons when utility load demands are high.
North Carolina’s offshore wind resources would be able to provide high value, and high demand energy when it is needed the most: hot summer afternoons. Based on this research, North Carolina’s Sea Breeze Effect is positively correlated with Duke Energy’s hourly electrical demand during summertime. Therefore, offshore wind energy resources have good coincidence with electrical demand load.
Download the full report here: North Carolina Sea Power Report