Rocket Scientists Seek New Wind Energy Sources

John Davis

Scientists with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are using nearly 10 years of satellite information to figure out where is the best place on the oceans to put up wind energy turbines.

This UPI story says they’re using NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite to search for homes for offshore wind farms:

QuikSCAT, launched in 1999, continuously tracks the speed, direction and power of winds near the ocean surface to predict storms and enhance weather forecast accuracy.

Ideally, offshore wind farms should be located in areas where winds blow continuously at high speeds and NASA said the new research identifies such areas. An example of one such high-wind area is off the coast of Northern California near Cape Mendocino.

“The protruding land mass of the cape deflects northerly winds along the California coast, creating a local wind jet that blows year-round,” NASA said.

Other good places around the world include Tasmania, New Zealand and Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America.