Wind Energy Colloquium

The Brazos Wind Farm, also known as the Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm, near Fluvanna, Texas. Photo by Leaflet.

February 26, 2010
Greenville, NC

Wind energy is one of the fastest growing alternative energy sources, but there are also concerns about wind energy's impact on the environment, property values, and local tourism. To address these issues RENCI at ECU was one of the co-sponsors and participants of the Wind Energy Colloquium held by ECU's Department of Geography.

Guest speaker Dr. Mike Slattery from Texas Christian University discussed his research on the impacts of large-scale wind farms, particularly on the bird and bat population. His team is working on methods to effectively and efficiently measure bird/bat mortality and to develop deterrent and curtailment solutions. Dr. Patrick Long and Dr. Craig Landry then spoke on the effects of wind farms on coastal tourism and the public's perception of wind turbines at the beach.

Dr. Allen at the VisWall explains a photographic simulation of a wind farm on the Outer Banks.

The colloquium concluded with a demonstration of the RENCI at ECU VisWall by Director Tom Allen. He and graduate student Laurynas Gedminas have developed a 3D Google Earth model of a hypothetical wind farm in Pamlico Sound just off Hatteras Island. This model is part of a survey that uses visualizations to measure the economic and aesthetic impact wind farms would have on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

A 3D Google Earth model of a hypothetical wind farm near Rodanthe, North Carolina.

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