The Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Company, a utility operating in the US southeast, are collaborating on a 10 MW offshore wind project near Georgia's coast. The demonstration project, expected to use three to five wind turbines, will determine the feasibility of offshore wind in the area. The project continues research by Georgia Tech, which found that the strong westerly winds that blow along Georgia's coastline -- coupled with technological advances in wind turbines -- make the site promising. The US southeast does not otherwise have good onshore wind resources. Project design and engineering will begin this summer to evaluate various technology options for wind turbines, platforms, foundations, submarine cabling and grid interconnection. The project stands a chance of becoming one of the first offshore wind plants to be completed in the US, thanks to its small size and the clout of Georgia Tech, one of the premier research universities in the United States. "We remain interested in finding viable renewable energy options that can play a part in meeting the growing demands of our customers," says David Ratcliffe, CEO of Southern Company. "Our partnership with Georgia Tech presents us a unique opportunity to assess offshore wind power as a cost-effective option for generating power in our region." The Southern Company serves four million customers in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida and has 39,000 MW of generating capacity.
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