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Experts: Hurricane risk won’t slow wind developers  

Credit:  By Kate Elizabeth Queram - Wilmington StarNews | May 14, 2013 | www.jdnews.com ~~

Though existing offshore wind farms have yet to be tested with a major hurricane, experts said it’s unlikely the threat of tropical storms will deter developers from pursuing installations in North Carolina waters.

“I’ve not yet seen that it’s a showstopper,” Brian O’Hara, president of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, said during a presentation in Raleigh last month. “It’s a combination of engineering from manufacturers who are aware of the issue, and risk mitigation from insurance providers.”

The most recently developed wind turbines, installed off the coast in Europe, are built to withstand up to a Category 3 hurricane.

“There’s not much that man builds that does well in a Category 5 hurricane. Luckily, the frequency of those is one every 100-plus years,” he said. “So the question becomes, how far do you have to go with design and where do you pick it up with insurance? But so far, no one has identified it was a showstopper.”

Since 1851 – the first recorded Atlantic hurricane season – 13 hurricanes classified as a Category 3 or higher have made landfall in North Carolina. But only one of those storms – Hurricane Hazel, in 1954 – was a Category 4. No Category 5 hurricane has ever hit the Tar Heel State coast.

Source:  By Kate Elizabeth Queram - Wilmington StarNews | May 14, 2013 | www.jdnews.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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