It's WINDSday| January 5, 2022

Celebrating the Power of Wind, Clean Energy and a Green Environment


New Year, New Look for "It's WINDSday!"

It’s WINDSday debuted in June, and weekly since then, we have brought you news, profiles and education about the people and organizations that are raising awareness of offshore wind energy, an exciting new industry that will help define our region as this decade unfolds. WINDSdays is fast becoming a popular platform to share this information, and you can be part of it. Just reach out to [email protected] and let’s brainstorm. Becoming a partner is easy. 

For 2022, two years from when construction on the CVOW project off VA Beach begins, we are tinkering with the look of this newsletter. Hope you like it. Keep reading and thinking how you can help us turn Wednesdays into WINDSdays.


Offshore Wind Energy is a VMA Passion

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The Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) is The 101-year-old “Voice of Port Industries” in the state. That’s why it was out front in advocating on behalf of offshore wind. The VMA, which now has chapters from the sea to the mountains, correctly saw that our collective economy, not to mention our environment, would benefit from the planet’s newest industry, renewable energy, making landfall in a region like ours that was perfectly primed for it. (The image of the wind turbine below is in a mural on the side of the VMA building on Plume Street in Norfolk.)

New companies, whether they have their roots in Europe or start from scratch here, are coming. They will join existing shipyards, law firms, insurers, truckers, manufacturers, railroads, bankers, brokers and the myriad of other product or service providers who are VMA members. They all depend on the VMA for advocacy, business advice, market knowledge and good old-fashioned relationships to advance their firms. 

Getting to know the VMA is easy. Come to a mixer, like the one it will host on WINDSday January 26 from 5-7:30pm at Chick’s Oyster Bar on Vista Circle, just off Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.  With your ticket, you receive hors d’oeuvres and a couple drinks plus the chance to meet some dedicated maritimers, many just getting their feet wet in the trade so don’t be intimidated. Go to to register.

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"Get in the Mix with VMA"


Introducing: The Power of Wind

with Mark Gleason & Nicki Wheeler


When we retired and moved from the Shenandoah Valley to Virginia Beach in 2020, we just had to be near the water. Nickie’s family actually had a cottage on the oceanfront before all the hotels replaced them. And both of us had such an interest in history and environmentalism that the opportunity to be on the coast made so much sense.

The Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum seemed to call out to us, so we became active volunteers there, helping plan exhibits, conduct tours and promote the former Seatack Life-Saving Station, built in 1903 and then eventually moved to its current location adjacent to the 24th Street Park. Then we learned about the offshore wind project Dominion Energy intends to build 27 miles out in the Atlantic. We hopped rides on head boats out of Rudee Inlet to see the two pilot towers, and naturally we became WINDSday Warriors, eager to help raise interest in this amazing effort.

We have now added researcher and author, signing on to provide regular content for this illustrious weekly newsletter under the heading, “The Power of Wind.”

Here’s our first offering. 

Why Three Blades on a Wind Turbine?


Did you know that a single offshore wind turbine blade is 354 feet long? That’s approximately the length of a football field, including both end zones. Each is rounded in front, while the rear is tapered. Think “airplane wing.” The shape creates a pressure differential when air moves around the blade, causing it to move. It’s also slightly twisted to present the best angle in the wind.

But why three blades? One or two blade designs have the highest overall efficiency but are structurally unstable. They “wobble” too much. The three-blade system creates a balance between structural stability and efficiency. When one blade is completely vertical (on top), the other two supply the perfect counterweight. A thin blade is aerodynamic and structurally stable. Each blade passes through “clean air." Any turbulence created by the earlier blade has already passed downwind.

All these factors increase a blade’s efficiency and overall life expectancy, which is important given its cost. The lifetime of a blade is 20-25 years, and it can be recycled. Recent studies show that there is an even more economical and stable blade design out there: the pectoral fins of a humpback whale (pictured below). Imagine that?

Want more answers to questions about the Power of Wind to make electricity? Email [email protected]. She’ll find us. 

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Photo courtesy of

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