Article

Shore no place for wind test

Wind power is advocated as a clean, renewable energy source. We have no problem with that. But we'd prefer that it be harnessed elsewhere. The potential harm to the ecosystem and tourism should be reason enough to scrap the test project.

Gov. Corzine pledged last week to closely review the recommendations for a "test project" of up to 80 wind turbines to be built off New Jersey's coast, to learn more about the potential impact and benefits of offshore wind power. It should be easy to reach a conclusion: Don't bother.

Such a wind farm would likely threaten migratory birds and marine life and could seriously damage the fishing industry. The damage to the state's billion-dollar tourism industry could be catastrophic: Visitors who pass by industrial sights on the New Jersey Turnpike want pristine beaches and soothing ocean views when they arrive at the shore, not more industrial-type structures jutting from the sea.

Wind power is advocated as a clean, renewable energy source. We have no problem with that. But we'd prefer that it be harnessed elsewhere. The potential harm to the ecosystem and tourism should be reason enough to scrap the test project.

The blue ribbon panel appointed in December 2004 by former Gov. Richard J. Codey to study the development of offshore wind farms recently turned in its report to Corzine. Its recommendation for the test project also calls for studies before, during and after construction. The... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Gov. Corzine pledged last week to closely review the recommendations for a "test project" of up to 80 wind turbines to be built off New Jersey's coast, to learn more about the potential impact and benefits of offshore wind power. It should be easy to reach a conclusion: Don't bother.

Such a wind farm would likely threaten migratory birds and marine life and could seriously damage the fishing industry. The damage to the state's billion-dollar tourism industry could be catastrophic: Visitors who pass by industrial sights on the New Jersey Turnpike want pristine beaches and soothing ocean views when they arrive at the shore, not more industrial-type structures jutting from the sea.

Wind power is advocated as a clean, renewable energy source. We have no problem with that. But we'd prefer that it be harnessed elsewhere. The potential harm to the ecosystem and tourism should be reason enough to scrap the test project.

The blue ribbon panel appointed in December 2004 by former Gov. Richard J. Codey to study the development of offshore wind farms recently turned in its report to Corzine. Its recommendation for the test project also calls for studies before, during and after construction. The studies alone are expected to cost millions. That red flag shows how risky the venture would be.

Constructing wind farms atop a mountain or on flat land wouldn't require the extra reach from the wind source through water to the ocean floor, or miles of transmission cables reaching back to the shore before making their way to a generating station. And the cluster of 400-foot turbines would likely bar that area from commercial fishermen who make their living off the scallops, clams and flounder on the ocean floor.

Tim Dillingham, a panel member who filed a minority report on behalf of the American Littoral Society, said the need for a test project is "not well-supported" and premature. He recommends the state be more aggressive in pursuing conservation before it starts putting "industrial structures" in the ocean. We agree.

Conservation should be a top priority, along with making the first study on wind energy a search for a better location for a wind farm, far from the ocean. The risk of damage posed by offshore wind farms to coastal resources, the tourism industry and commercial fishing is simply too great.



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

MAY 8 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/2499-shore-no-place-for-wind-test
back to top