Interior Secretary: Wind Could Replace Coal

John Davis

salazar2Wind turbines churning off the East Coast have the potential to replace nearly all of the coal-fired power plants. That bold pronouncement comes from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during a recent public hearing in Atlantic City, New Jersey. has details:

Salazar said at the public hearing that wind resources along the East Coast can generate 1 million megawatts (MW) of power, although he could not estimate how many windmills might be needed to generate this amount of power, according to the AP report. This is equivalent to 3,000 medium-sized coal-fired power plants, or nearly five times the number of coal plants now operating in the United States, according to the Energy Department.

Salazar is hosting four regional public meetings in April to discuss the future of offshore energy development. He also said in Atlantic City that offshore energy production might not be limited to wind power.

Salazar also told participants at a recent summit meeting of 25X’25 America’s Energy Future that U.S. offshore areas hold enormous potential for wind energy development in all coastal metropolitan centers, and the wind potential off the coasts of the lower 48 states could exceed electricity demand in the U.S.

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), there’s already more than 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of potential wind power off the East Coast with a total of more than 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects currently proposed in this country.