Articles filed under Offshore Wind
At least one of two offshore wind projects approved by Maryland utility regulators in May could be in jeopardy after an amendment sponsored by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) that seeks to push the turbines farther from the coast was approved by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee in the past week.
The wind farm's impact of greatest concern to birders and environmentalists involves the potential for high mortality rates due to collisions by birds and bats into the spinning fan blades. LEEDCo acknowledges this fear in its document, but warns that monitoring and documenting casualties from collisions are difficult and pose unique hurdles not found at land-based wind farms.
The official explained that LIPA had ample green-power sources to meet its short-term state mandates without the second Deepwater Wind project’s proposed 210 megawatts of energy. He noted LIPA will have other opportunities to purchase wind energy through a recently signed memorandum of understanding with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority specifically centered on offshore wind.
Harris cited Ocean City’s concerns about impacts on views from the shoreline as the catalyst for the amendment. It’s important to note while Ocean City officials are not opposed to the offshore wind farm projects conceptually, they continue to express concern about the potential impact on the views from the shore and have pushed the companies to move the turbines back at least 26 miles.
The amendment restricts the use of federal funds to conduct a site assessment or construction and operation plans for wind turbines less than 24 nautical miles from Maryland’s shoreline – the distance at which the turbines would not be visible from the beach.
"We want them to be moved back to the horizon, so we don't see the towers. I really believe people come to Ocean City because they want to look out into the ocean, the undisturbed natural state of the ocean, and this will dramatically change that." -- Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan
Starting in 2020 Maryland’s electricity consumers will be paying higher electric bills in order to subsidize two wind projects to be developed off the Ocean City waterfront. Over the lives of these projects the subsidies will total more than $2 billion. Despite this exorbitant cost the projects will deliver no environmental benefits and, most likely, will contribute to global warming. How did this lose-lose situation come about?
"The all-in number is $300 million, and that includes some of the money that has been spent to date by Dominion on research and development," said David Botkins, a Dominion spokesman. ...The deal calls for Dong to build two 6 MW wind turbines 27 miles offshore of Virginia Beach.
In May, the Maryland Public Service Commission approved electricity-rate increases to fund two wind projects off the Ocean City shoreline. Over their 20-year life spans, these projects will cost Maryland electricity consumers more than $2 billion. Will they deliver economic benefits that justify their costs? Almost certainly not.
“If necropsy shows that a perfectly healthy whale beached itself where offshore wind turbines do exist, they need to really check what kind of sound these things are putting out,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There have been an unusual amount of strandings this year.”
The proposed offshore wind farm projects in Hawaii will have to overcome various regulatory hurdles, construction challenges and public scrutiny, if they come at all.
The English Supreme Court is due to hear an appeal on the long-running dispute in connection with the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm. ...At issue is whether E.ON (the employer) or Højgaard (the contractor) must bear the approximate €26 million cost of remedying failed grouted connections between monopiles and transition pieces at Robin Rigg.
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.