Are offshore wind farms coming to Washington?

I attended a meeting today about the possibility of bringing ocean energy and 7 MW wind turbines (like this one, but off shore) to the Washington coast (specifically near Grays Harbor). Promoters of the idea think we could get as much as 1 GW or more of power out of the briny deep – actually the briny not-so-deep, as scientists think you can only do offshore in water less than 100m deep. But apparently we get good wind here going out to those depths, and we could do a combination wind-turbine, ocean energy turbine, which has never been done before. Also, we could float the turbines.

Boosters also want to set up a west coast ocean energy consortium similar to one developed in Virginia that seems to be doing good things.

Would it be cool? Yes. It could conceivably power much of Western Washington with the electricity it generates, and it appears that it would be relatively easy to transmit it to the PS region once it’s generated.

Is it doable?Who knows. It’s early. They have just gotten the go-ahead from FERC to look into it.

They are looking into the impacts the project could have on whales, migratory birds, etc. This will be important – they could run into problems with the locals if they harm the whales or the birds.

BTW, 7MW wind turbines are huge.


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