USA: DWEC Would Reach Maximum Output on Hottest Days of Summer in Northeast
Hot temperatures are a boon for offshore wind energy. Deepwater Wind today released data showing that its planned Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC), a 900 MW offshore wind farm planned 30 miles east of Montauk and 20 miles south of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island mainland, would reach maximum output on the hottest days of summer in the Northeast, just when electric grids need it.
Deepwater Wind has proposed to sell power from DWEC to the Long Island Power Authority via a new transmission system that connects, for the first time, Long Island and southeastern New England. Deepwater Wind also intends to market power from DWEC to Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
During the first heat wave of the season, in late June, temperatures and the electric demand on Long Island surged. For example, on June 21, a new high for the date was set on Long Island as the temperature peaked at 95 degrees in the late afternoon. Electric demand followed that temperature rise. Likewise, demand for electricity in New England also soared during the heat wave.
Data modeled by Deepwater Wind’s meteorological experts, AWS Truepower, show that DWEC would have been operating near its maximum output during the afternoons of both June 20 and June 21, when the heat wave was at its peak. While the wind farm is projected to produce at an average of approximately 45% capacity over the course of a full year, it would have been producing much more – in the range of 65 – 90% capacity— during most of the hottest hours of the heat wave.
“One of the great benefits of offshore wind power is that its output surges during those hot afternoons in the dog days of summer,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Bill Moore. “This is because of the well-known ‘sea breeze’ effect. When temperatures rise on shore and heat the air, that hot air rises. The resulting drop in air pressure on shore causes cooler air from the ocean to accelerate toward the coast. Those cooler ocean breezes also produce steady wind that powers our offshore wind turbines.”
“This is one more reason that offshore wind is the best new energy resource option for New England and Long Island. Both areas are close to one of the best offshore wind sites in America, and we can deliver that clean, renewable energy exactly when we need it – on hot summer days and all year long.”
Offshore WIND staff, July 19, 2012; Image: dwwind