Articles filed under Offshore Wind
The developers of two wind farms planned off the coast of Ocean City are moving forward with their projects, accepting terms Maryland regulators laid out earlier this month in allowing them to collect subsidies from the state's electricity customers.
“Think about what 200 windmills would do to the sunrise,” James said to Harris on May 11. “People come here to enjoy that. They’ll be walking on the beach, seeing these things that are 670 feet tall. They say we’ll benefit from this, but it’s Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey beaches that’s going to benefit.”
The area along the coast of New England is considered the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind. However, the federal tax subsidy designed to jump-start production of ocean wind energy will soon be drying up.
The PSC decision comes just a week after the Mayor and Council fired off another strongly worded letter to the regulatory agency expressing a desire to have the offshore turbines sited at least 26 miles off the coast, or a distance determined to far enough out to have a zero visual impact from the shoreline.
Maryland waters could be home to some of the nation's first — and by far its largest — offshore wind farms under a decision issued Thursday by the state Public Service Commission to approve two projects.
Energy committee members unanimously vote against a bill that would have moved the test site at least 7 miles farther out to sea.
Maine Aqua Ventus representatives testified that the bill would have the practical effect of ending Maine’s bid to build the country’s first commercial-size, floating wind turbines and jump-start an industry ...But representatives of the Maine Lobstering Union, which represents 500 fishermen, said wind power has no place on the Maine coast. If the industry takes off, undersea cables and moorings associated with offshore wind farms would destroy valuable lobster habitat and imperil fishing.
If the plaintiffs are deemed to have standing and clear other threshold hurdles, the court is likely to apply these principles to address their claim that NEPA requires BOEM to consider multiple ocean areas before leasing any area to a potential wind farm developer.
NEW BEDFORD — Amid all of the challenges that could face offshore wind power along the East Coast — legal disputes from commercial fishing advocates, construction plans altered by whale migrations, President Donald Trump’s emphasis on revitalizing fossil fuels and more — some promising news for renewable industry supporters arrived in mid-March.
“You don’t destroy the environment in order to save the environment. Pile driving the ocean floor destroys fish with swim bladders” and traumatizes other fish, she said. Jet-plowing the ocean floor kills larvae and creates sedimentation that would cover and kill more. “Then you juice it with low-level electromagnetic frequency, which apparently heats up the ocean floor pretty well,” both repelling fish and attracting sharks, she said. “It’s one thing to talk about climate change in a vacuum, but turn around,” she said, gesturing toward the audience. “Their lives depend on what’s out there.”
“US Wind understands the council’s opinions regarding viewshed impacts of the offshore wind project and has taken these publicly expressed concerns seriously,” the letter reads. “To further address your concerns, US Wind remains willing to discuss altering the current wind project layout in an attempt to reduce viewshed impacts for Ocean City."
The plan to build an offshore wind farm to provide energy for the South Fork has received approval by the state comptroller, with a listed price tag to ratepayers of more than $1.62 billion.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says he may have underestimated how big a "thumbnail" would be when it comes to gauging the visual impact of a proposed wind project off the coast. "They always talked about thumbnails," Meehan said. "Well, they're a little bigger than a thumbnail."
Big disagreement on whether bigger is better
Other than the cost, the effect on marine life and the Island's summer tourism are the main concerns for Massapequa civic leader Phil Healey when it comes to a project like this one. "Just the fact of how much our economy is based on recreational fishing, recreational tourism, people who enjoy our beaches. It will have an effect -- it cannot not have an effect,” he says.
The Maryland Public Service Commission will begin what could be two weeks of hearings on proposals from two developers to build wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean off Maryland. The two developers are competing for up to $1.9 billion in subsidies over 20 years, paid for by the state’s electricity ratepayers, a crucial financing mechanism for developers to recoup the cost of building the massive wind farms.
Without specifics, the company said it expects the project to be a source of jobs in the region. ...One local industry is already weighing in against project. “The idea that you can just show up and stick a flag in the ocean floor and say it’s mine without regard to the fishing community it will displace is unconscionable and un-American,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.
Yesterday planning consent for the floating development was granted and announced by Holyrood’s minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP. But some local residents fear the enormous turbines could spoil the picturesque views from Stonehaven and the nearby Dunnottar Castle.
A turbine isn't spinning at the nation's first offshore wind farm, but repairs are expected to be complete soon. ...There was an issue with a cable connection on the turbine, but it should be back up within days, said Paul Murphy, the company’s vice president for operations and engineering. The same turbine previously was taken offline while its generator was repaired after a drill bit was left inside.
Fishermen worry about how close they’ll be able to get to the turbines without entering restricted space, and also want to avoid getting traps stuck on underwater wires and moorings. Those boundaries likely will be set by the U.S. Coast Guard much later in the planning process.