Motivated by the potential of capitalizing on a limitless energy source, as well as the associated upsurge of local businesses that come with it, the Virginia Beach wind farm initiative is progressing quickly because saving our planet is paramount.
With approval and buy-in from federal, state and local officials, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms assembled an energy task force to assess alternative sources of energy production. Of those considered-including wind, solar, tidal, algae biomass, oil and gas–interest in wind energy seems to be gaining momentum. Virginia Beach is taking steps for the future.
Though four other US states have wind energy projects in the coffers, wind energy is the world’s fasting-growing carbon emission reducing energy source, so it stands to reason why it has existed in Europe for decades. Scheduled to be operational by 2012, what will be the world’s largest wind energy facility is currently under construction 12-miles off England’s Kent coast. The 341 wind turbines spanning over 90-miles is estimated to power approximately 750,000 homes.
The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (www.vcerc.org), formed two years ago to research and develop renewable technologies, is most confident that the ocean breeze off the coast of Virginia Beach (averaging 10.4 mph) is ideal for wind energy generation. The consortium has proposed the erection of one 550-foot demonstration tower at Dam Neck to prove that there is ample wind there for power generation as well as the fact that the towers are constructed with the fortitude to withstand the marine weather there. And we all know that coastal areas like Virginia Beach can take a beating when hurricanes and Low Pressure Systems come barreling down the coast.
Virginia Beach is uniquely situated on the globe to become a major player in alternative energy resources research and development, including solar, biofuels, biomass power, geothermal, wind, and ocean power. Imagine grabbing a hold of the ocean's power. More traditional energy development opportunities may also exist in offshore natural gas exploration and development. As these resources are further evaluated, special precautions need to be taken to ensure that energy resources are developed in a manner that protects natural resources and fosters sustainable energy management. Because as we all know Virginia Beach is full of beautiful natural wildlife of all sorts.