By Tony Giunta, PG, Director of Project Development
We are constantly bombarded with bad news. A pandemic hijacked 2020. We are told our elections were manipulated by sinister powers. With our continued reliance on fossil fuels, the world inches closer to a run-away climate meltdown.
But amongst all this doom and gloom, there are glimmers of hope. Extremely effective vaccines capable of eradicating COVID are currently being administered. And human ingenuity continues to deliver devices capable of creating enormous amounts of clean, carbon-free renewable energy.
The latest entry into this new world of mega-producing energy devices is General Electric’s colossal Haliade-X wind turbine. It has a wingspan of two football fields and produces 13 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough energy from one single unit to power up to 12,000 homes! In comparison, the Haliade-X produces nearly 30 times the amount of power generated by the first commercial wind turbines installed during the early 1990s. And just when you thought this technology had matured, there are already plans to build units that will dwarf this present-day giant. As the saying goes, “success breeds competition”… bring it on!
We New Englanders have an incredible opportunity to make significant reductions in our overall global carbon footprint. Vast amounts of wind energy resources have been discovered off our coastline. How much wind energy? Enough to satisfy all of New England’s electrical needs, and more… a lot more! Most importantly, these offshore wind resources are reliable, meaning they will produce maximum output nearly 70% of the time.
When we’re able to make renewable energy contributions at this scale, there’s real hope that we actually can blunt the effects of climate change. However, the issue remains – will we fast track this technology? Or will we oppose efforts to deploy this significant tool in our arsenal of renewable energy solutions to reduce carbon emissions?
With our self-imposed red tape regulations and “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) judicial challenges, current estimates are that these wind resources will take five to ten years to receive approval. We need to do all we can to speed up our regulatory process and get these renewable resources on-line. We have the technology to save the planet, now all we need is the will to get it done!