Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) is investing $300,000 in a new study from UNC-Chapel Hill that is designed to provide an analysis of offshore wind potential for energy generation.

The Progress funding matches a federal grant for the project.
Last October, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke Energy said they were that will be used to study the potential of wind as an alternative source for electricity.
Up to three towers will be constructed in Pamlico Sound.
The UNC Department of Marine Sciences will conduct this new study.

Total cost of the project is expected to be $1 million.

No wind turbines will be installed as part of the study.

“We believe that renewable energy resources play an important role in a balanced approach to addressing the challenges of growing energy demand and global climate change,” said Lloyd Yates, chief executive officer of Progress Energy Carolinas, in a statement.

“The data gathered by this study will help utility, state and local decision makers determine how best to pursue offshore wind power while still providing cost-effective and reliable electricity to customers,” he added.

The project is scheduled to last three years and will focus on no data about offshore wind exists.

The study also is to include development of a wind resource map and an atmospheric modeling system.

UNC-CH conducted a similar study in 2009 but was “constrained due to a small number of historical wind observations and an inadequate ability to model wind profiles over water,” Progress said in the announcement.

That study concluded that North Carolina "is well-positioned to develop utility scale wind energy production."

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