For Wind Energy Advocates, Jose Highlights Region’s Potential

Source: By John Bender, Rhode Island Public Radio • Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017

New Englanders largely missed the brunt of Tropical Storm Jose. It’s moved miles off the coast of Massachusetts and is expected to weaken in those waters. Wind energy advocates say Jose’s path to New England illustrates the ideal location for wind turbines.

Within 20 miles of Cape Cod, there is a 1,000 square-mile area where winds from a northern jet stream converge with the Gulf Stream. Wind energy advocate Paul Vigeant of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center says that results in a powerful wind field, which blows consistently all year long.

“The off shore wind industry is kind of like the restaurant business, location, location, location,” said Vigeant. “So in this wind zone , that’s the Massachusetts and Rhode Island wind energy areas, it’s kind of basically where Jose is spinning around right now.”

Vigeant said the area generates enough wind to power half of New England.

“It’s just a very unique characteristic of North America,” said Vigeant. “This hurricane gives us a good example to explain why it’s such a good opportunity for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

The Block Island wind farm is currently the only commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S. Vigeant says the state of Massachusetts is currently soliciting proposals for an offshore farm.