Summer Sea Breezes Can Cool the Old North State: New Report Shows How Offshore and Nearshore Winds Could Provide High Value, Summertime Power for North Carolina
Asheville, N.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. Electric companies, including Duke Energy, 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.
“Duke Energy could use breezes along the Outer Banks to cool offices and homes in Charlotte,” 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. North Carolina’s Sea Breeze Effect occurs when Duke Energy needs it most: hot summertime afternoons. 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 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).
SACE will host a webinar tomorrow, August 13th at 11AM where Simon Mahan, SACE's 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