Monday, October 18, 2010

Renewable Energy Firm Launches Statewide Wind-Power Study at Washington College

ANNAPOLIS–Seven Seas Energy, a renewable-energy developer based in Annapolis, has partnered with Washington College as part of the company’s 12-month wind study to determine the feasibility of placing micro wind turbines throughout Maryland. Beginning in October, the study will determine the feasibility of installing micro turbines for use by homeowners and small businesses.

“Recently there have been several advances in micro turbines which allow for more energy production at lower wind speeds,” says Teris Pantazes '03, who created Seven Seas with Washington College classmate Drew Frank '03 in 2007. By working with Washington College and other sites across the state, his company hopes to redraw wind maps in Maryland and establish a set of new boundaries where wind energy is possible.

The smaller turbines are usually overlooked by larger utility-scale energy developers. “We’re in a different world when it comes to micro turbines,” says Teris. “Turbines as small as 6 to 10 feet can be installed on rooftops and vacant ground to help save energy costs and offset the carbon footprint of businesses and homeowners alike. They also can provide a financial benefit; we are working to determine just how significant that can be.”

In addition, Seven Seas Energy will eventually set up a web-based monitor in order to make data from the research available to Washington College for academic and research purposes. In 2007 Washington College signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), and is constantly looking into ways it can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Briggs Cunningham, who is the Climate Action Coordinator at the College’s Center for Environment & Society, says that “it will probably take a number of different renewable energy systems to drastically reduce the College’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory; and working with Seven Seas to look at wind data is one positive step toward that goal.”

Seven Seas Energy is an Annapolis-based developer of renewable energy that focuses largely on solar and wind systems with commercial and utility applications. Seven Seas Energy first sparked public notice by creating the development plan for the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park, which is being negotiated with city officials.

For more information on the anemometer’s installation at the College, visit

Photo: Briggs Cunningham, Climate Action Coordinator for the Center for Environment & Society, helps to coordinate campus and community sustainability projects. If the anemometer shows enough windpower in this location, Washington College might begin to invest in vertical-axis turbines to generate electricity.


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