According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of the Interior, wind energy off the Atlantic coast of the U.S. could provide up to 25 per cent of America’s energy needs. This vast resource is virtually untapped, thanks in part to the massive bureaucratic and regulatory red tape that surrounds projects like these.
One aspect of the approval process for new wind generation is a common-sense study of the area — after all, there’s not much point in building a wind farm if there’s no wind, is there? Normally, this study is extremely expensive and time-consuming: a meteorological mast, costing $5–10 million and requiring a full season to build once regulatory approval is obtained, is the conventional way to do it.
But a Vancouver company, AXYS Technologies, has a better solution: they’ve designed a nautical buoy that contains all the data-collection instruments of a mast, and with a price of $1 million, their WindSentinel buoy is a significant savings when compared to conventional masts.
The first purchaser of the WindSentinel is Fishermen’s Energy, a wind farm developer that is currently exploring a new project off the coast of New Jersey. Fishermen’s will use the WindSentinel to collect all manner of data about their site, 12 miles off the shore near Atlantic City. Everything from wind speeds to avian activity will be recorded by the buoy.
“We are excited about working with AXYS Technologies and are very anxious to see the wind assessment data,” said Mike Madia, Chief Operating Officer of Fishermen’s Energy, in a press release.
For more info on AXYS, click here.