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DEP report won't affect wind farms

Wind farms occasionally kill birds and their construction disrupts marine life, a new broad survey shows. But the results of the report will have no immediate effect on New Jersey's massive offshore wind projects, state officials said Monday. The 312-page report by the state Department of Environmental Protection offers few details on the overall impact of the almost 300 wind turbines slated to be built off the coast of Atlantic City.

Wind farms occasionally kill birds and their construction disrupts marine life, a new broad survey shows.

But the results of the report will have no immediate effect on New Jersey's massive offshore wind projects, state officials said Monday.

The 312-page report by the state Department of Environmental Protection offers few details on the overall impact of the almost 300 wind turbines slated to be built off the coast of Atlantic City. A final report due in December along with data collected from meteorological towers may determine the scope and design of the three proposed projects.

"It doesn't have any impact on the governor's [energy] policies at all at this point," said Jeanne Herb, policy director at the DEP. "The information is preliminary. You can't draw any conclusions."

The sentiment was echoed by officials at the state Board of Public Utilities, which is overseeing the projects.

The wind farms are the centerpiece of Governor Corzine's push for clean energy sources to supply a large portion of the state's power. He set a 2020 wind power goal of 3,000 megawatts - enough electricity to power 2.4 million of New Jersey's 3.5 million homes.

Three companies - Garden... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind farms occasionally kill birds and their construction disrupts marine life, a new broad survey shows.

But the results of the report will have no immediate effect on New Jersey's massive offshore wind projects, state officials said Monday.

The 312-page report by the state Department of Environmental Protection offers few details on the overall impact of the almost 300 wind turbines slated to be built off the coast of Atlantic City. A final report due in December along with data collected from meteorological towers may determine the scope and design of the three proposed projects.

"It doesn't have any impact on the governor's [energy] policies at all at this point," said Jeanne Herb, policy director at the DEP. "The information is preliminary. You can't draw any conclusions."

The sentiment was echoed by officials at the state Board of Public Utilities, which is overseeing the projects.

The wind farms are the centerpiece of Governor Corzine's push for clean energy sources to supply a large portion of the state's power. He set a 2020 wind power goal of 3,000 megawatts - enough electricity to power 2.4 million of New Jersey's 3.5 million homes.

Three companies - Garden State Offshore Energy of Newark, Bluewater Wind of Hoboken, and Fisherman's Energy of Cape May - have been selected by the state Board of Public Utilities to build the state's first wind farms.

The DEP report looks at data accumulated from other wind farm studies. It reports that a turbine averages only one or two bird strikes a year.

Noise from turbines and underwater transmission lines may disrupt sensitive marine life like sea turtles. And coastal birds could lose a foraging area depending on where the turbines are placed.

Most environmental groups support the wind farms except for the Sandy Hook-based American Littoral Society, which believes driving turbines into the ocean floor would disrupt fish life, construction would cause pollution, and the prevalence of repair boats could increase the number of hits on whales.

"We're going to take every precaution necessary, but we think the wind farms will be beneficial to the environment," said Paul Rosengren, a spokesman for Public Service Enterprise Group, which is a partner in Garden State Offshore.


Source: http://www.northjersey.com/...

MAR 10 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19416-dep-report-won-t-affect-wind-farms
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