Hurricane Risk Is Real For Offshore Wind

Posted: June 28, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, Uncertainty, weather, wind
Tags: , ,

Climate alarmists touting greater intensity and/or frequency of strong hurricanes, while advocating endless renewables, ought to take note of this.

PA Pundits International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

My regular readers know that I have been fussing about the threat of hurricanes destroying proposed Atlantic coast offshore wind arrays. The issue arises because the offshore wind industry is based in Europe, which does not get hurricanes. My focus has been Dominion’s massive project off Virginia, but the whole East Coast is hurricane alley.

Now I have found some research that actually quantifies the threat and it is very real. It looks like wind generators will have to be redesigned specifically to withstand hurricanes. In fact that work is underway. In the meantime we should not be building conventional offshore wind towers.

The 2017 press release is succinctly titled “Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts”. The PR says this: “The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s

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  1. David wrote that offshore wind towers could be damaged by hurricanes.

    That is true, but even after the wind towers are strengthened to withstand more wind, are they strong enough to withstand an attack from any major or minor enemy or terrorist?

    Green energy provides very soft targets for our enemies, as we depend on green energy more and more, we will be in extreme risk if we depend on any of it for necessary base load, there is no way to protect windmill and solar farms, their footprints are not defensible.

    And, to rebuild them, we will need to buy stuff from China, or countries that China supplies.

  2. Gamecock says:

    Sorry, Doc, but you are being a Chicken Little.

    For a single location on the U.S. Atlantic coast, the chances of being hit by a Cat 5 are remote.

    Consider Charleston, SC. It has been hit by major hurricanes only twice in the last 100 years (Gracie and Hugo, both Cat 4).

    Coastal interests are subject to hurricanes, but really strong ones are rare. Most offshore wind generators will go their full life cycles without seeing a major hurricane.

    The U.S. Gulf/Atlantic shore is 3500 miles long. The few hurricanes that make it ashore are spread over thousands of miles. Any single point is in little danger.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Rogue gusts of wind might be enough, regardless of hurricane category.

  4. Gamecock says:

    No, oldbrew. Dr Wojick is not discussing “rogue gusts.” He is discussing Cat 5 hurricanes, and engineering windmills to withstand them.

    It is a bad engineering goal, when they are unlikely to see even Cat 3 hurricanes.

    You build for what’s likely, not what’s possible.

  5. oldbrew says:

    JUNE 27, 2022
    The 2022 hurricane season is tracking behind the pace of those in 2020 and 2021, but it’s still early

    By this time in 2020 and 2021, there had already been four named storms in the Atlantic—up to the “D” names. There has been one named storm this year, according to Alan Reppert, senior meteorologist at Accuweather. The hurricane season officially began June 1 and will end Nov. 30.

  6. Gamecock says:


    ‘My focus has been Dominion’s massive project off Virginia’ — Dr Wojick

    He would have them build for Cat 5 when . . .

    . . . they don’t get ANY!

  7. oldbrew says:

    Gamecock – good point, but Wojick might say the wind turbines would be out at sea so hurricane landfall data is not the key factor?

  8. Gamecock says:

    Your defense of Wojick is admirable, but his post is junk.

    I knew Virginia was too far north for Cat 5 storms, so I searched the internet for the strongest storm to hit Virginia. I thought there might have been a Cat 2 sometime. I had trouble finding what the max storm was. Then hit the report by WaPo, saying double-ought zero impacts of any kind.

    While on the subject, I checked Wojick’s bio. A degree in civil engineering, and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science and mathematical logic (whatever the heck that is (!)). What we have here is an ad verecundiam fallacy. He uses Dr in his title, but he is NOT an authority on weather.

    His assertions on off shore wind turbines in Virginia is stupid wrong. Betraying his degree in civil engineering.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Hurricane Information For Virginia Beach, VA

    Virginia Beach, VA is in a very high risk hurricane zone. 72 hurricanes have been recorded in the Virginia Beach, VA since 1930. The largest hurricane was Camille in 1969. The most recent Virginia Beach, VA hurricane was Ana in 2015.

    There’s a list: Major Hurricanes And Storms To Hit Virginia Beach, VA (within 150 miles)

    Four hit wind speeds of 130 mph or more. List only goes back to 1998.

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Chesapeake, VA
    Norfolk, VA
    Carrollton, VA
    Portsmouth, VA
    Cape Charles, VA
    Cheriton, VA
    Machipongo, VA
    – – –
    Is all this wrong?

  10. oldbrew says:

    Re: Germany.

    Wind energy was also producing well below capacity because wind turbines produced no energy on calm days and had to shut down on particularly gusty days to prevent turbine blades from being damaged.
    Jun 29, 2022

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