By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Group studying wind farms off coast
Placeholder Image
Rita Kilpatrick, the Georgia policy director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, spoke on behalf of the Georgia Wind Working Group on Thursday during a Coastal Advisory Council meeting. Kilpatrick addressed a 2005 project study that could bring a wind turbine to the waters off the state’s coast. About 20 CAC members attended the meeting at Coastal EMC in Midway.
The project study, conducted through a partnership with Southern Company and Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute, recently confirmed a wind-powered generator on Georgia’s coast would be useful, Kilpatrick said.
“Georgia is fortunate to have some maps done that show we have good resource potential off the coast of Georgia,” the policy director said, using the resource maps as visual aids.
The federal government recently approved a permit to continue alternative energy source research and, Kilpatrick said, the Georgia Wind Working Group wants to further study the feasibility of the wind turbine.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind & Water Power Program website,, wind is a form of solar energy and wind turbines work the opposite way a fan does.
“Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity,” according to the site.
Kilpatrick acknowledged the group has a lot of work to do, including working out a government land leasing agreement to develop the projects and educating the public about the energy project’s coordinators’ long-term goals.
“Wind energy is one of the better priced renewable energy technologies that are available to us,” she said.
Wind turbines also do not consume water, which is good because many residents are concerned about conserving water, Kilpatrick said. The high capital cost is another issue that worries residents and officials alike because it is an expensive endeavor, but the benefits outweigh the challenges, she said.
“We encourage folks who are interested to ask us about how to partner up and we’re eager to get more government and more state agencies, businesses and the like on board so that we can fully work this issue as we go forward,” Kilpatrick said.
She also introduced Chuck Hopkinson of the University of Georgia’s sea grant program, who spoke about the group’s collaboration in the project to expand the renewable energy options.
Hopkinson said recent studies through the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown that for a 10- year plan, wind energy is the best option for renewable energy.
Both representatives said other countries are way ahead of the United States when it comes to using wind energy daily.
According to a news release from the American Wind Energy Association, “Denmark receives over 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy, and in 2008 Germany received over seven percent of its electricity from the wind.”
Kilpatrick expects a few European wind energy specialists will be involved in bringing a wind turbine to Georgia’s coast. Depending on their schedules, she said she may bring them to visit as early as next month.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters