Installing wind turbines is not just about finding the spot where the wind blows the strongest.
A team of researchers from the University of Delaware and Stanford University found out that if they place wind turbines in different locations they can get more leveled and uniformed power.
The study was conducted off the east coast, a region that accounts for 34 percent of the nation’s electrical demand and 35 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions.
“An offshore grid as an extension of the onshore grid in this region will improve reliability, while reducing congestion and energy price differences between areas,” said Mike Dvorak, the lead author of the study and a recent doctoral graduate in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford.
The best locations for connected wind turbines have been identified from Long Island, N.Y., to Georges Bank, a shallows about 100 miles to the east of Cape Cod.
By combining coastal and further offshore locations, an even better pattern was achieved, much different from land-based wind in this region.
“The wind resource along the East Coast of the United States is phenomenal.”
“Average wind power generation at some of these locations can be twice as high as that at a wind farm over land. Also, by doing this ‘smart’ interconnection, we were able to reduce variability by almost 40 percent,” said co-author and UD faculty member Cristina Archer.
Offshore WIND staff, April 27, 2012; Image: vattenfall