The U.S. Virgin Islands Energy Road Map, an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy thinks so.  Today’s state-of-the-art commercial equipment usually captures about 45% of the available energy in the wind when operating at  maximum efficiency.  Nonetheless, wind power is thought to be among the lowest cost renewable energy technologies.  In light of this, it has enjoyed remarkable growth throughout the world in the last 15 years. 

The report states that the energy in the wind increases with the cube of the wind speed—a doubling in wind speed will result in an eight-fold increase in energy production.  Offshore wind plants today utilize a basic onshore three-blade turbine adapted for marine environments. These offshore projects usually use fixed-bottom foundations, although there plans for floating offshore turbines.  This type of turbines can be tethered to a fixed spot on the ocean floor.  The floating turbine, however, is only in the development stage today.
Even with wind power growing in popularity and gaining mainstream acceptance as a viable energy resource, wind power continues to face a changing set of barriers and hurdles. The most significant of these are:
1.      Access to adequate transmission;
2.      Maintaining and achieving general power sector competitiveness;
3.      Permitting and regulatory approval for projects
4.      Understanding and minimizing wildlife impacts; and
5.      Addressing aesthetic and nuisance effects.
When analyzing the United States Virgin Islands, the federal report identified numerous developable wind resources on several exposed ridges and in coastal areas of the Territory. The report named the southern shore of St. Croix and Bovoni Point on St. Thomas as both being potentially viable sites for utility-scale wind energy production.  Other sites with enough exposure to prevailing easterly tradewinds may also provide wind development opportunities in the Virgin Islands.
n an effort to better calibrate the efficacy of specific sites in the US Virgin Islands, the Office of Economic Opportunity solicited bids to install meteorological towers at specific sites on the islands.  Installing these meteorological towers and collecting site-specific wind speed data for a period of one or two years will provide the ability to better quantify the value of adding wind at these specific project sites, and may encourage interest from project developers.
If you have questions about the renewable energy and how it can benefit your business, or would like to talk to Tom Bolt about the prospect of new, emerging technologies in the United States Virgin Islands, please contact him the law firm of BoltNagi PC.  BoltNagi PC is one of the largest firms in the United States Virgin Islands and has experienced legal professionals to assist companies based in or seeking to relocate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  BoltNagi means business!