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Universities collaborate to look at offshore wind power

CLEMSON -- What is the viability of wind power in the southeastern United States off the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas? Clemson University researchers, along with scholars form Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University, will attempt to answer the question when they host the Southeast Regional Offshore Wind Power Symposium Feb. 26-27 in Charleston.

"These are tenuous times for energy in the United States that offer the opportunity for clean renewable energy to become a viable and sustainable reality. The potential for alternative energy sources has never been greater," said Nicholas Rigas, director of the S.C. Institute for Energy Studies. "Wind energy is a fast-growing, clean, renewable energy source with its capacity doubling every three years. The symposium will increase awareness of offshore wind potential off the coasts of all three states that have in common similar wind characteristics, coastal communities and regional politics."

Symposium speakers include Walt Musial, of the Department of Energys National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, and Phil Dougherty, director of the Office of Wind and Hydropower Technology at DOE.

Offshore wind power development in the United States is in its infancy, while the industry is seeing rapid growth in Europe. The winds off the coast tend to be stronger and more consistent than land-based wind, allowing for more efficient production of clean electricity that can service the growing coastal population and create new jobs. Symposium topics include impact on the ocean's ecology, migrating birds, the local tourism industry, coastal development, noise, ship navigation and sustainability.

The symposium will be held at the Historic District Embassy Suites in Charleston. For more information, go to: http://www.clemson.edu/scies/wind.htm.


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Contact: Nick Rigas
nrigas@clemson.edu
864-656-2267
Clemson University
20-Feb-2007


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