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Expert: Windmills Are Costly

TRENTON -- Building electricity-producing windmills off the New Jersey coast could be costly, witnesses testified Tuesday as they debated the benefits of such a project during a hearing before a blue ribbon panel.

S. Peter Ford, director of FPL Energy, the first company to build offshore windmills in the United States, said the project costs between $2.5 million and $4 million for a facility capable of producing one megawatt of energy.

His company is building a wind turbine facility off Long Island, N.Y., that can produce 140 megawatts of energy.

"It is very expensive," said Ford, whose Pennsylvania-based company specializes in wind turbines.

Ford was one of four people who testified before the Blue Ribbon Panel on Development of Wind Turbine Facilities in Coastal Waters.

Acting Gov. Codey signed an executive order last year to create the panel after several companies unveiled proposals to build offshore wind turbines, or windmills, in the federal waters between Sandy Hook and Cape May.

The panel was charged with weighing the costs and benefits of developing offshore wind turbine facilities, including potential economic and environmental impacts.

Another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12 in the Ocean County Administration building on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Panel Chairman Edward J. McKenna Jr., the mayor of Red Bank, said the group plans to meet in January and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
S. Peter Ford, director of FPL Energy, the first company to build offshore windmills in the United States, said the project costs between $2.5 million and $4 million for a facility capable of producing one megawatt of energy.

His company is building a wind turbine facility off Long Island, N.Y., that can produce 140 megawatts of energy.

"It is very expensive," said Ford, whose Pennsylvania-based company specializes in wind turbines.

Ford was one of four people who testified before the Blue Ribbon Panel on Development of Wind Turbine Facilities in Coastal Waters.

Acting Gov. Codey signed an executive order last year to create the panel after several companies unveiled proposals to build offshore wind turbines, or windmills, in the federal waters between Sandy Hook and Cape May.

The panel was charged with weighing the costs and benefits of developing offshore wind turbine facilities, including potential economic and environmental impacts.

Another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12 in the Ocean County Administration building on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Panel Chairman Edward J. McKenna Jr., the mayor of Red Bank, said the group plans to meet in January and February and will deliver its report to the governor in March.

Michael Mercurio of Long Beach Township told the panel not to be discouraged by the high costs other countries have paid to build wind turbines.

"I feel Americans can do it better," said Mercurio, of Island Wind Inc. a company that developed foundations to support offshore wind turbines in deep waters.

He suggested building turbines 15 miles offshore.

"This will keep them around the size of a small pin, to see only on a pristine day," Mercurio said.

Some speakers opposed any project to build windmills off the coast.

"I am flat out against coastal water wind turbines," said Milton Edelman, 83, of Bradley Beach.

Edelman told the panel he was concerned that offshore windmills would interfere with shipping, low flying planes and commercial fishing.

Patrick Daugherty of Neptune joined Edelman in asking the panel to consider building windmills on islands in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, rather than off the coast.

But McKenna said the islands are too small to support the turbines and are not in an area with enough wind to produce electricity.

Daugherty said he supports using wind as a source of energy.
Windmills "would (help) meet the urgent energy crisis we are faced with," Daugherty said.

Source: http://www.redorbit.com/new...

DEC 21 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/788-expert-windmills-are-costly
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