Articles from Delaware
Danish energy company Ørsted is no longer seeking to connect an offshore wind farm to the mainland at Fenwick Island State Park.
Following the completion of more thorough evaluations of the area proposed for the facility, Ørsted has determined that a large portion of the site is comprised of undisturbed wetlands. Accordingly, Ørsted has notified DNREC that it will no longer pursue plans to build the interconnection facility at Fenwick Island State Park as initially proposed.
Regarding “Wind farm company meets with local contractors,” Coastal Point, Feb. 14, 2020:
Town officials said they are still awaiting a response from the state regarding a public-private partnership that could bring millions of dollars in improvements to Fenwick Island State Park in exchange for an interconnection facility on park grounds.
FENWICK ISLAND, Del.- Wind farms are the center of attention once again as evidentiary hearings for the Skipjack project off of the Ocean City coast will soon be opened.
Officials say a proposal to improve Fenwick Island State Park through a partnership with an offshore wind developer has come to a standstill as staff review thousands of responses from a public survey.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan called on the PSC to hold more evidentiary hearings to better understand the impact larger wind turbines would have on the town. U.S. Congressman Andy Harris, R-Md.-1 pointed out that nothing stops U.S. Wind from possibly building 12-megawatt wind turbines as close as 10 miles from shore. Harris went on to criticize the wind developers' decision to use larger wind turbines saying, “I would suggest that this is one of the most amazing cases of bait and switch that I’ve ever seen."
On Saturday, hundreds of homeowners, residents, and Ocean City visitors packed into the Ocean City Convention Center to make their voices heard about 800-foot offshore wind turbines potentially being built along the resort town’s shoreline.
After two month-long extensions, the state closed public comment Jan. 15 on Ørsted’s controversial proposal to connect the company’s offshore wind farm to the electrical grid by passing through Fenwick Island State Park. The connection project was revealed in late September. In return for being allowed to connect the wind farm, Ørsted has proposed $18 million of improvements at the state park.
On the eve of the highly-anticipated public hearing on the increased height of the proposed offshore wind turbines off the resort coast, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) this week approved the town’s petition to intervene and also changed the hearing’s site within the convention center to accommodate the expected crowd.
Eighty-four percent of respondents to a survey on offshore wind are primarily opposed to two things, said the Caesar Rodney Institute's David Stevenson. "One is visible wind turbines off the shore, and the second is using Fenwick Island State Park as place for landfall for the transmission line,
The proposed Skipjack Wind Turbine project planned for Fenwick Island should be rejected. The wind turbines will spoil the current pristine views from the Delaware shoreline. Since these 850-foot monstrosities will be built only 17 miles from the coast, a substantial — over 400 feet — portion will be visible from the beach.
When it comes to discussions of the proposed offshore Skipjack Wind Farm and the related proposals to bring cables carrying the wind-generated power ashore at the Fenwick Island State Park, there seem to be two — maybe three — schools of thought, generally. The offshore wind farm, which would be the second in the United States and the largest so far in this country, is slated to be constructed about 19 miles off the coast of southern Delaware. Officials from the company that wants to build the turbines says they will be barely visible from the coast; opponents say otherwise.
“It is important the park project and the offshore wind project be thoroughly reviewed and studied to ensure it is in the best interest of the environment, our economic vitality, and the quality of life we cherish,” the resolution reads. “The Council is concerned with the substation location in an environmentally sensitive area and with the distance of the wind turbines to Fenwick Island shores.
One of the foremost concerns voiced by residents was that the MOU had been signed in July and notice of the public presentation wasn’t made till September. “I’m frustrated that it got to this point and we didn’t even know about it,” resident Marlene Quinn said. ...Each of the Fenwick Island council members who spoke at the council meeting expressed opposition to the project, although the council as a whole has not taken a position either way. All were present except council member Richard Mais.
A number of surveys, including one from the University of Delaware, indicate perhaps 15-to-35 percent of tourists will stop coming as the view degenerates as a result of the offshore wind turbines. The Delaware Tourism Office reported in 2016, tourism contributed roughly $3 billion to Delaware’s gross domestic product.
If it is approved, Orsted says the "Skipjack Wind Farm will be sited at least 19 miles from the Maryland-Delaware line and 26 miles from the Ocean City pier. ...if the wind farm is approved, Orsted plans to construct an interconnection facility on Fenwick Island State Park's bay side area, with wind turbines in the ocean.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has signed an initial memorandum of understanding with Ørsted, an offshore wind company based in Denmark, to discuss leasing up to 1.5 acres in Fenwick Island State Park. Ørsted would use park property to build an interconnection facility that will connect power generated by the yet-to-be-built Skipjack Wind Farm to the electrical grid.
Offshore wind energy is not a new prospect to Delaware.
Members of the public spoke for and against renewable offshore wind Monday night at a workshop in Odessa. The input will guide officials as they look into offshore wind and how it might affect the First State.