Will Hurricanes Topple U.S. Wind Turbines?

“There is a trade-off because some of the states with the largest offshore wind resources are in the hurricane-prone areas.”

The New York Times reports:

As plans for wind farms rising out of the ocean along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts inch closer to fruition, a new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that hurricanes could destroy a significant number of turbines in some of these areas, even coming close to wiping them out.

Although turbines are designed to both harness and withstand the forces of wind, they can be severely damaged by too much of it. In the United States, Europe and Asia, turbines have caught fire, blades have shredded and towers have crumpled when hit by stormy gales.

The authors of the study, published on Monday in the National Academy of Sciences magazine PNAS, set out to quantify the likelihood that a hurricane could topple towers in American waters where projects are under consideration or development…

Read the entire report.

4 thoughts on “Will Hurricanes Topple U.S. Wind Turbines?”

  1. I had this thought years ago when the whole idea of putting wind turbines on the Atlantic coast was first floated. I mean, come on – it’s obvious! Why is it only now that someone is raising this red flag? All the time and money spent planning these projects could have been saved.

  2. Do government subsidies for wind cover insurance costs? Or will the windmills be replaced at government expense?

  3. In Florida it isn’t just the hurricanes that cause problems. It’s also microburst of over 110 mph during thunderstorms that can cause a lot of damage. I hope whoever owns the wind turbines has good insurance against wind damage, and property damage. Home owners pay enough for wind damage, even inland.

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