This blog was co-authored by Katie Stokes.
This is the last of five blogs in a series where the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has highlighted states throughout our region and their role in the wind industry.
Georgia’s wind resource is vast; however, no large-scale wind farms have been built onshore or offshore of the Peach State. Nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind resource exists in Georgia, and another 60,000 MW resides offshore. A single megawatt of wind capacity can generate enough electricity for up to 300 homes. Modern onshore wind turbines are generally 2 MW in capacity, and offshore wind turbines are currently available up to 5 MW.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy published a report on how to achieve 20% of the nation’s electrical supply from onshore and offshore wind power. In that report, the DOE estimated that Georgia would supply up to 1,000 MW of onshore and offshore wind energy combined by 2030. Up to 20,000 manufacturing jobs would be created in Georgia from this scenario. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that for every one megawatt of offshore wind capacity built, more than 20 jobs are created.
Recently, Southern Company announced they are investigating the offshore wind resource potential off the state.
Already several companies in Georgia work in the wind industry, even though the state has no large-scale wind farms installed. The following is a non-exhaustive list of a few of those companies.
- Bruel & Kjaer (Norcorss) offers sound and vibration test solutions for the wind industry including sound power determination for turbines, noise source identification, and manufacturing quality control.
- INTORQ US, Inc. (Atlanta) manufactures blade and clutch solutions for wind turbines.
- Lectra (Marietta) develops advanced specialized software and cutting systems and associated services for a variety of industries including wind power.
- NAUE America (Atlanta) sells Geogrid, a product used for reinforcement of access roads that need to provide efficient load distribution of the stresses transferred from traffic or large loads such as utility-scale turbine and tower equipment
- Pigeon Mountain Industries, Inc. (La Fayette) manufactures safety equipment for working at heights.
- Sentry Engineering (Lawrenceville) provides electrical infrastructure such as tower wiring, underground and overhead collection systems, fiber optic SCADA systems, substations, and transmissions lines.
- Southern States, LLC (Hampton) designs and manufactures high-voltage switching devices.
- Stego Inc. (Marietta) develops and manufactures products that heat, cool, ventilate, illuminate, and control temperature and humidity of enclosed electrical and electronic control systems.
- Tensar International (Alpharetta) specializes in site development solutions such as retaining walls and foundation improvements.
Despite the wind energy industry presence in Georgia already, if the state is going to achieve the Department of Energy’s scenario to develop up to 1,000 MW worth of wind capacity and generate up to 20,000 in-state manufacturing jobs by 2030, the state will need to recognize renewable energy as a valuable economic engine. Georgia should create a renewable portfolio standard and the state’s federal delegates should propose and support stable tax incentives for the wind industry. If you would like to get involved in promoting renewable energy in Georgia, be sure to check out SACE’s Advokit.
Be sure to read the other blogs in this series for Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.