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Power ahead on wind farms

Of the proposals under consideration, at least one would be off the coast of Ocean County, 18 miles from Long Beach Island. Although a study prepared for the BPU noted the impact of wind farms off the Jersey coast on the fishing and tourism industries would be temporary and relatively minimal, it indicated there was far greater sensitivity to the visual impact of wind farms in Ocean County than in Cape May and Atlantic counties. The BPU should take that into account. ...The projected loss of tourism revenue would drop off dramatically if wind farms were located 6 miles or more off the coast.

Despite objections from two state senators who say the Board of Public Utilities may be proceeding too fast with a pilot project for an offshore energy-generating wind farm, the BPU should move forward next week when an advisory committee studying proposals from five companies makes its recommendation - if the project selected is far enough off the coast not to have an adverse effect on tourism.

Of the proposals under consideration, at least one would be off the coast of Ocean County, 18 miles from Long Beach Island. Although a study prepared for the BPU noted the impact of wind farms off the Jersey coast on the fishing and tourism industries would be temporary and relatively minimal, it indicated there was far greater sensitivity to the visual impact of wind farms in Ocean County than in Cape May and Atlantic counties. The BPU should take that into account.

At a state Senate Economic Growth Committee hearing in Brick last week, Sens. Andrew R. Ciesla, R-Ocean, and Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-Monmouth, called on the BPU to postpone an Oct. 3 vote on the pilot project because of concern about the visual impact of wind farms. Their concern is not totally misplaced. But a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Despite objections from two state senators who say the Board of Public Utilities may be proceeding too fast with a pilot project for an offshore energy-generating wind farm, the BPU should move forward next week when an advisory committee studying proposals from five companies makes its recommendation - if the project selected is far enough off the coast not to have an adverse effect on tourism.

Of the proposals under consideration, at least one would be off the coast of Ocean County, 18 miles from Long Beach Island. Although a study prepared for the BPU noted the impact of wind farms off the Jersey coast on the fishing and tourism industries would be temporary and relatively minimal, it indicated there was far greater sensitivity to the visual impact of wind farms in Ocean County than in Cape May and Atlantic counties. The BPU should take that into account.

At a state Senate Economic Growth Committee hearing in Brick last week, Sens. Andrew R. Ciesla, R-Ocean, and Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-Monmouth, called on the BPU to postpone an Oct. 3 vote on the pilot project because of concern about the visual impact of wind farms. Their concern is not totally misplaced. But a delay won't serve any useful purpose. The BPU has the information it needs to make an informed decision.

The wind farm study, prepared by Global Insights, said Ocean County could lose $400 million in tourism revenue with a project 3 miles off its coast, compared to $474 million in Atlantic County and $156 million in Cape May County. The projected loss of tourism revenue would drop off dramatically if wind farms were located 6 miles or more off the coast.

With a wind project 12 or 20 miles offshore, the study said, Atlantic and Cape May counties actually could gain tourism revenue while Ocean County could see a $53 million decrease.

Those figures not only suggest, all things being equal, that wind turbines should not be located off the Ocean County coast, but that wind farms anywhere offshore in New Jersey should be located where they are barely visible from land - ideally 12 miles or more off the coast.

The wind farms, expected to be built at a cost of $1 billion to $1.3 billion, would provide power for some 125,000 local homes, create hundreds of jobs in the area and address issues of climate change, including global warming and sea-level rise. Wind power must be a part of the renewable energy mix. But in choosing a pilot project, the BPU must select an alternative that doesn't offset wind power's benefits by adversely affecting the Shore economy.


Source: http://www.app.com/apps/pbc...

SEP 23 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17183-power-ahead-on-wind-farms
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