April 12th is National Big Wind Day here in the USA! Since moving closer to the ocean, I have experienced winds like never before! It also gave me a newfound appreciation for Rhode Island’s offshore wind farm. So I thought that today was a great day to talk about the power and potential of wind!
About National Big Wind Day
“Observed each year in the United States on April 12th, National Big Wind Day commemorates the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded winds at 231 miles per hour.
Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft, and it is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
Observers Wendell Stephenson, Alexander McKenzie and Salvadore Pagliuca reported the wind gusts in 1934 from the Mount Washington Observatory. The record even held for several decades. In 1984, the observers returned to the observatory to celebrate the record-breaking wind’s 50th anniversary. Then in 1996, the big wind award from atop Mount Washington fell. A typhoon struck a small island off of Australia with wind gusts of 256 mph.”National Day Calendar
About Rhode Island’s Offshore Wind Farm
I want to take the chance to celebrate RI’s wind farm on National Big Wind Day. In 2016, Rhode Island became home to the first offshore wind project in the USA. They managed to install the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm successfully. Five years later, it is still standing strong and generates 125,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.
The Block Island Wind Farm project is called Deepwater Wind, and it is located 3.3 nautical miles (3.8 miles or 6.1 kilometres) southeast of Block Island. Strangely enough, these five turbines that you can see on the horizon from Block Island caused a lot of controversies when they were built. People were worried that they would ruin their view and cause noise.
Today, they produce enough power for the entire island and then some. And Rhode Island wants to double up in wind energy big time! By 2024, they are hoping to construct a 704-megawatt wind farm at Martha’s Vineyard. This would provide power for 60% of America’s smallest state; an impressive feat indeed. What better day than National Big Wind Day to celebrate this fantastic form of renewable energy?
National Big Wind Day Summary
You can celebrate National Big Wind Day by visiting an observatory and learning about renewable energy. If so inclined, you can also research wind farm projects in your area and sign some pro-wind petitions! Even though this is a national holiday, you can celebrate anywhere in the world! Especially with the rate at which we are using non-renewable recourses, the planet needs more projects like the Rhode Island offshore wind farm.