Library filed under Offshore Wind
“It’s true that the area where the turbines are have created habitat that attracts fish, which is good; but in the area where the cable lines extend to the mainland, it’s completely devoid of fish,” said Michael Pierdinock, chairman of the Massachusetts Recreational Alliance, which represents about 50,000 recreational fishermen. “These used to be fruitful fishing grounds.”
At a hearing on the bill last week, Kevin Hughes, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, suggested that one of the wind farm projects could come before the panel again because developer U.S. Wind has said it plans to use larger wind turbines than it initially proposed. Del. Christopher Adams, an Eastern Shore Republican who sponsored the bill that was voted down, said he thinks that possible new review “suggests that there will be further deliberation” on Maryland wind farm proposals.
“A lot of it just has to do with the market conditions coming together that make it very competitive,” she says, noting that improvements in both process and technology, including bigger turbines being developed, are making the numbers work in off-shore's favor.
The battle over the proposed distance of offshore wind energy turbines from the Ocean City shoreline moved to the General Assembly this week with a hearing before a Senate committee that would require the distance to be at least 26 nautical miles.
“The two most important factors of Ocean City property values are location and view," Michael James, an Ocean City hotel executive, told the Finance Committee. “Seven-hundred-foot turbines will undoubtedly hurt property values.” Town officials say they support offshore wind energy but not wind turbines visible from condo and hotel balconies.
There’s a lot of buzz in New Bedford these days about the offshore wind industry — and for good reason.
The energy firm behind one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms has scrapped plans to build large electricity plants in the Norfolk countryside. Vattenfall, which wants to build two wind farms around 50 kilometres off the east Norfolk coast, said today it will use more advanced technology which will mean a cable corridor it hopes to dig across the Norfolk countryside will be narrower. It also means no relay stations will be needed.
“I’m appalled that the state (and the town of Yarmouth) would consider a project that would damage this fragile watershed,” said Andrea Gottfried, a taxpayer in West Yarmouth. “Lewis Bay is historically, ecologically and economically important to Cape Cod residents and visitors from around the world.”
“Squid, flounders, scallops and other species need sandy bottom without structure to thrive,” she said. “So, the turbine bases not only destroy their habitat, but also introduce an entirely different ecosystem that attracts species that didn’t aggregate in the area before.”
“Ocean City supports clean, unseen energy,” the mayor’s letter reads. “What that means is that we would like the turbines to be constructed at least 26 miles offshore, rather than the 12.9 to 17 miles as one developer is proposing. Our leadership is interested in both promoting green energy and providing job opportunities, but is also our duty as the Mayor and Council to preserve all that we have at stake, including the natural beauty of the beaches and waters in and adjacent to Ocean City.
With state officials eyeing $56 billion of wind farm projects off the American coastline, developers are worried the turbines will need to be stamped with a big "Made in the U.S.A."
“This is a big project that will be there for many, many years, and we only get one chance to make it right,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “Let’s not go build something we’re all going to regret.” The town's rejection is a political blow to America's first large-scale offshore wind development. But it is largely a symbolic one; the turbines are being planned in federal waters.
OCEAN CITY — Reiterating a position they have fostered for years, the Mayor and Council this week unanimously passed a resolution opposing the development of offshore wind energy turbines within view of the resort’s coastline.
“Information provided by BOEM to the Department of Defense indicates that the unsolicited offshore wind proposal from Trident is for an area within Department of the Navy ‘wind exclusion’ areas off the coast of Central California. These ‘wind exclusion’ areas are locations on the outer continental shelf where wind energy development will adversely impact Navy and/or Marine Corps testing, training and operational activities.”
“Newport residents, as well as residents of other Communities, have received new electric and gas bills that are giving them anxiety and sticker shock due to huge increases; And... the new distribution charges are increasing bills by huge percentages and are compromising residents’ ability to pay necessary life expenses for rent, food, medical needs; And... the RI PUC’s decision to put the significant increase in renewable power costs from off-shore wind and net-metering into the Distribution charge and not the Power Charge so that consumers cannot opt to purchase equivalent power from outside Rhode Island as provided by law...”
The view of waters off Ocean City remains clear, while the possibility of electricity-generating wind turbines jutting up from the horizon is somewhat less so, as local government continued its effort either to kill the idea or push the turbines farther offshore and out of sight.
Toxic transformer fluids could pollute drinking water if leaks occur at a substation where an offshore wind energy developer plans to connect to the region’s electric grid, according to an attorney for the town of Barnstable. “We haven’t seen the plans,” Charles McLaughlin said of Vineyard Wind’s plan to connect an underground transmission cable to an Eversource substation in Independence Park.
Off New York's Long Island, an organization representing East Coast scallopers has sued the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to try to halt a proposal for a nearly 200-turbine wind farm. Commercial fishermen in Maryland's Ocean City and North Carolina's Outer Banks have also sounded the alarm about losing access to fishing grounds.
The researchers found that all three species were more likely to enter areas the government has established for offshore wind development during migration than during the winter. The gannets, in particular, trafficked the wind development areas most extensively while heading to or from breeding grounds in eastern Canada or wintering spots as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.