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Taller turbines will increase US wind deployment sites

UNITED STATES: Higher hub heights could increase the amount of land available for wind development by 54%, a report by the US Department of Energy (DoE) has found.

Light blue and orange on DoE map shows potential increased areas available for wind development
Light blue and orange on DoE map shows potential increased areas available for wind development

The 'Enabling Wind Power Nationwide' report has suggested that using turbines with hub heights of 110 metres could increase available land by 4.3 million square kilometres, a 54% increase compared to using current technology and hub heights of 80 metres. It said wind power could be used in all 50 US states, specifically opening up sites in the south east.

DoE's report makes reference to turbines in Germany, which have an average hub height of 116 metres. The technology in Europe has the capacity to meet the DOE's recommendations: Siemens' 3.2MW unit can have a hub height up to 142-metres; Senvion's 3.2MW turbine can reach 143 metres; and Enercon's E-101 3.05MW turbine can reach 146-metre hub heights.

Further development of turbine heights up to 140-metres could increase the amount of land available for effective wind power development by 67%, the report finds. 

DoE does say, however, that with increased heights, the affects on wildlife and impacts on radars must still be considered for "responsible deployment".

The report was launched by energy minister Ernest Moniz, who was speaking at day one of the AWEA Windpower 2015 event in Florida. 

Click on the map to view a larger image

 


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Windpower Monthly Wind Resource Assessment Forum, 17-18 June 2015, Houston, Texas

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