Courtesy Leonard G.A new study claims that positioning large, off-shore wind farms in the path of oncoming tropical storms and hurricanes can reduce the damage those storms inflict. The extra electricity they produce is just an added bonus.
The study's findings contend that "tens of thousands of turbines can lower a hurricane's wind speed up to 92 mph and reduce its storm surge up to 79%."
But is it realistic to think that such a big wind operation could actually be built? Currently there are no operating water-based wind farms in the United States. The largest off-shore wind turbine sites being considered for construction have about 200 turbines planned. Those facilities are being planned off the coasts of Texas and New England. There are small-sized off-shore wind plants in Europe and China.
But if a huge wind operation was feasible, the study estimated that such a plant would have saved a lot of damage in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Somef 78,000 wind turbines — each 50 feet tall — could have slowed Katrina's wind speeds up to 78 mph and cut its storm surge up to 79%, the report from Stanford University said.
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