How will Hurricane Sandy affect wind farms?

Hurricane Sandy

By Simon Mahan, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

The National Weather Service is forecasting Hurricane Sandy will strike in the vicinity of the Mid-Atlantic, with Delaware and New Jersey squarely in the storm’s path. The DC to NYC crowd have awarded an alternative, nefarious name to Hurricane Sandy: “Frankenstorm.” As with previous storms of this magnitude, electric utility companies are preparing to do battle with this monster.

When Hurricane Irene struck the same region of the country just last year, utility companies began shutting down nuclear power stations several days in advance of that storm. Natural gas demand plummeted because so many electric power lines were down, ramping up natural gas power plants wasn’t an option. Despite all the flooding, winds and storm damage, not a single wind turbine was harmed.

At the time, about 174 megawatts of wind energy capacity was directly affected by Hurricane Irene. Perhaps twenty times as much wind energy capacity could be directly affected by Sandy than by Irene. Part of the reason for this bigger threat to wind energy is due to Sandy’s projected path. Right now, Sandy’s expected to rake across Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and Ohio. Collectively those states have more than 3,500 megawatts of wind energy capacity that may be in Hurricane Sandy’s path.

Read the full article here: Will Hurricane Sandy Affect Wind Farms?

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