LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Is the Oil Industry Ready for A Rigs-to-Wind Program?

There's already a Rigs-to-Reefs program where abandoned oil rigs remain and serve as underwater reefs for fish and marine life. How about rigs-to-wind where decommissioned oil platforms might house wind turbines? That's definitely a possibility on the horizon as discussed in Turbines may offer option for oil rigs, Richard Burgess, The Advertiser (12/29/03). As the article reports, engineer Herman Schellstede has a vision of wind turbines, 25 stories high dotting the Gulf of Mexico, providing pollution-free power to coastal Louisiana. The plan, he said, is to place the turbines on abandoned oil drilling platforms in the windy areas off the coast - a possible boon for the oil industry because regulations require that rigs in federal waters have to be torn down when not in use. And as noted in the previous post, the state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, announced this month that it plans to study the possibility of putting wind turbines on offshore platforms.

Still many are skeptical about the possibility, including high costs, how to transport power to shore and where to use it. But PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell isn' amongst the nay-sayers: "I’m not looking for a lot of pessimism saying it won’t work. I want to know how to make it work,” the article quotes Campbell as saying. “It’s worked in other parts of the country. Why not Louisiana?”


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