James Madison University

State Energy Program/FEMP - NASA-Wallops Turbine Study

Principle Investigator: James Madison University

Wallops Island is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facility located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. JMU will conduct a wind assessment study specific to this site and perform a number of tasks. This project will serve as a model for future siting of wind turbines on public lands. It will identify and suggest ways to overcome economic, environmental, and policy barriers such that the system will have low impact on the surrounding environment and business on the island.

The major project outcomes and deliverables will be:

  1. a report to Wallops Island NASA Center that will include results from impact studies, economic and technical feasibility studies, and results of an energy audit conducted on the island;
  2. a report to showing the process, barriers, and results of the Wallops Island study to serve as a model for future siting of wind energy systems at federal facilities. The report will be posted on the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) website and made available to interested parties.

The benefits of this project include assisting Wallops Island with utility management decisions by providing resources and information on alternative energy services and load reduction. It will also promote renewable energy through the development of a protocol for proper siting of wind turbines on public lands and it will promote energy efficiency on federal lands by means of energy auditing.

Term: October 2003 - October 2005

Deliverables / Outcomes:

  • Determine the technical and economic feasibility of a large wind turbine or turbine array on Wallops Island.
  • Determine the environmental impact of a proposed wind turbine or turbine array with respect to avian issues.
  • Determine if wind turbine(s) will cause interference to the AEGIS Combat Systems Center on site.
  • Determine methods to reduce the load on the island using energy efficiency techniques and practices.
  • Provide a resource that will guide other federal agencies in their efforts to move toward alternative energy sources and energy efficiency.