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Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Seattle Electric Company Aims to Set Up Offshore Wind Park


Windmills in a row on cloudy weatherSeattle’s Principle Power has recently acquired the go-ahead from the U.S. Department of the Interior to apply for a lease on 15 square miles of federal waters located outside Coos Bay, Oregon. The company plans to build the first wind turbine park in federal territory on the west coast, capturing the power of the strong winds that blow through the Pacific.

What makes this idea different than other wind turbine systems is that Principle Power is planning to build the first turbines situated on floating triangular platforms, bypassing the need for driving piles into the ocean floor. The proposed turbine site is also located far enough offshore to overcome the potential problems of causing harm to birds or making too much noise.

The plan is to place five 6-megawatt turbines 17 miles out from the Coos Bay shore. Principle Power is hoping to have them generating a combined 30 megawatts of power by late 2017, enough energy to serve 8,000 homes. Behind hydroelectric and wood biomass power, wind is the third biggest source of renewable energy in the U.S., and many environmentalists call it the cleanest one of all. The National Energy Laboratory claims that offshore wind power could potentially produce more than 4,000 gigawatts of energy, enough to serve the entire country. And with some of the strongest winds coming from the west coast, Principle Power’s new wind park sounds like something to get behind.

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