While Congress debates whether America should drill for more oil along the coasts of the country, a more valuable, greener source of energy could be offshore.
The idea of massive wind farms off the coasts of California, New England, the mid-Atlantic, Washington state, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico could be appealing as winds are strong and more sustainable just a few miles out to sea. And this article from the Bellingham (WA) Herald says those potential wind farms could generate as much power as the country currently produces from all sources:
The winds blowing 15 miles or even farther off the U.S. coasts potentially could produce 900,000 megawatts of electricity, or roughly the same amount as nearly all the nation’s existing power sources combined, according to Department of Energy estimates.
Though the cost of these deepwater offshore wind farms isn’t firm, some estimate the electricity they would produce could be nearly comparable in price to that generated at today’s power plants. Norway, Denmark, Britain and other European nations are already developing such offshore wind projects.
“This is an energy frontier we are just starting to explore,” said Walter Musial, a senior engineer with the Energy Department’s Wind Technology Center in Colorado, adding that far offshore windmill projects in the United States could start appearing between 2012 and 2015.
The article goes on to say that while some windmills near the shore have caused controversy because they could “damage the view, (thanks Ted Kennedy!)” these platforms would be far from shore. And with today’s technology, having deepwater windmills is quite possible.