Description: This study, supported by the US Department of Energy, Wind Powering America Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, analyzed barriers to wind energy development in the Mid-Atlantic region along with options for overcoming or mitigating them. The Mid-Atlantic States including Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, have excellent wind energy potential and growing demand for electricity, but only two utility-scale projects have been installed to date. Reasons for this apathetic development of wind resources were analyzed and quantified for four markets. Specific applications are: 1) Appalachian mountain ridgeline sites, 2) on coastal plains and peninsulas, 3) at shallow water sites in Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and 4) at deeper water sites off the Atlantic coast. Each market has distinctly different opportunities and barriers. The primary barriers to wind development described in this report can be grouped into four categories; state policy and regulatory issues, wind resource technical uncertainty, economic viability, and public interest in environmental issues. The properties of these typologies are not mutually independent and do interact. The report concluded that there are no insurmountable barriers to land-based wind energy projects and they could be economically viable today. Likewise potential sites in sheltered shallow waters in regional bay and sounds have been largely overlooked but could be viable currently. Offshore ocean-based applications face higher costs and technical and wind resource uncertainties. The ongoing research and development program, revision of state incentive policies, additional wind measurement efforts, transmission system expansion, environmental baseline studies and outreach to private developers and stakeholders are needed to reduce barriers to wind energy development.
Date: June 29, 2012
Creator: III, Daniel F. Ancona; George, Kathryn E.; Sparling, Lynn; Buckheit, Bruce C.; LoBue, Daniel & Bowers, and Richard P.
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