Study urges coastal wind farms

April 3, 2009 at 1:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- Wind farms placed off U.S. coastlines could contribute significantly to meeting the nation's energy needs, says an Interior Department study.

Turbines off the Atlantic Coast potentially could produce 1,000 gigawatts of electricity, enough to meet 25 percent of the nation's electrical demands, the study says.

Turbines located off the Pacific Coast also hold great potential but would need to be placed in much deeper water than the Atlantic, posing more engineering challenges, the study said.

The study is part of the Obama administration's plan to chart a course for offshore energy development, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Harnessing wind in relatively shallow waters, which is the most technically feasible for offshore turbines, could produce at least one-fifth of the power needed for most coastal states, said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The study includes no new estimates of potential oil and gas reserves offshore, the Tribune reported.

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