C+S November 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 11

address climate adaptation and resilience in all aspects of Civil Works projects and operations,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime A. Pinkham. “This is a vital component of identifying the contribution of the Corps to the Administration’s goals for resilient infrastructure and community preparedness.” The plan includes identifying programs and missions most at risk from climate change to ensure best use of taxpayer dollars; putting senior leaders in charge of these projects so they are held accountable; re- vamping supply chain policies and operations to create a more climate- resilient system; enhancing protections for workers and communities; and building a more equitable future for at-risk populations. Wind energy benefits environment, economy A supporter of the Biden Administration’s push for wind energy, Mar - janeh Issapour, director of Farmingdale State College’s Renewable En - ergy and Sustainability Center, believes the United States could benefit from this renewable energy source in two major ways. “Producing wind energy provides clean energy, reduces CO2’s — car - bon dioxide — and our carbon footprint. Producing wind energy do - mestically also makes us independent from oil, which hopefully would make us less exposed to international adverse situations that could cost us generations to come. It’s a win-win situation,” she said. Issapour is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Long Island where she chairs the Power and Energy Society and is a subcommittee member of the American Wind Energy Association. She added these locations off the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts of the United States are prime areas to establish wind energy for several reasons, such as having access to deep, open waters, enabling wind farm parts manufacturers, some located solely in Europe, to ship mate- rials to this region on large cargo ships. Regarding wind turbine construction, Issapour said their size is growing. “When you construct a building, the taller the building, the deeper the foundation has to be. Wind turbine foundations are filled in with a special gravel material that makes the turbines steady and stable. This material is produced in Canada, which is also easily accessible to this region.” The economy of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts will also benefit greatly. For example, according to BOEM, offshore wind farm con - struction in North Carolina and Virginia is expected to generate nearly $2 billion for the region’s economy over the next decade. BOEM has stated part of this will come from new jobs. For example, the Kitty Hawk project, once operational, will create 900 full time jobs. When these projects are operational, the economies of these regions will further benefit. BOEM states regions with offshore wind turbines tend to experience an increase in recreation and tourism. Part of this may be due to an increase in recreational fishing because of an increase in fish habitats. The underwater foundations that support the tall wind turbines may attract a wide variety of fish and other marine animals.

According to BOEM, perhaps the most important benefit of offshore wind farms is they help decrease the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and help tackle climate change. When fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and gas, are burned to meet our energy needs, this releases carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the air, which degrades air and water quality and contributes to climate change. Construction and operation of the Kitty Hawk project alone, by BOEM’s estimates, is expected to displace 1,330,032 tons of carbon dioxide, 860 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 703 tons of nitrogen oxide an - nually that would have been emitted from fossil-fuel burning facilities. BOEM reports these projects are not only meeting federal climate change goals, but also state objectives. For example, the Common - wealth of Virginia enacted the Virginia Clean Economy Act in April 2020. This act supports development of 2,500 to 3,000 megawatts of clean, reliable offshore wind energy to be in service by 2028 and has the goal of transitioning Virginia’s biggest utility companies from their current electric portfolio to 100 percent carbon-free resources by 2050. Issapour says Americans have been slow to accept renewable energy, such as wind energy, and she would like for them to think of the possi- bilities. “Before you say no, just take a look at the data and learn about it,” she said. “Look at the long-term benefits. Don’t be short-sighted but think of the generations to come. Ask yourself – what are the ben - efits for me, my family, and the longevity of our planet? We forget we are the guardians of this beautiful Earth.” The Wright Brothers would probably agree with her. People didn’t believe they could fly, but the brothers kept researching and testing their flyers. As a result, today, we can fly to most locations throughout the world. Possibly in years to come, with the offshore wind farms being constructed now and those in the future, renewable energy will be just as common as boarding an airplane and climate change will be a passing breeze. Wind energy generated offshore is transported through buried underwater cables to on- or offshore substations where the voltage is stepped up and the electricity connects to an onshore electrical grid. Photo: BOEM.



November 2022

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