Can Wind Farms Protect Us From Hurricanes?
Can wind turbines weaken a hurricane? A recent study indicates that may be the case. USA Today reports Stanford University engineering professor Mark Jacobson says massive offshore wind farms can potentially reduce hurricane winds by as much as 92 mph, and reduce storm surge by 79%.
He contends an array of 78,000 wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico, off New Orleans could have slowed hurricane Katrina’s winds up to 78mph, and reduced storm surge by nearly 80%. The US currently has no offshore wind farms. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm, in Lewis County New York, is currently one of the largest wind farms east of the Mississippi. Maple Ridge has 195 turbines on the Tug Hill plateau of the Adirondack Mountains, just off the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. The area is subject to some of the fiercest weather in the US, with blinding lake effect snowstorms that generate high wind, and heavy snowfall. Each wind tower generates enough electricity to power 560 homes.