Articles filed under Offshore Wind
While there were many supporters in the room for Vineyard Wind and renewable energy in general, more than a few had pointed questions at a public hearing Wednesday on a draft environmental report on the project’s construction and operations plan.
Among sticking points in the months-long negotiations between the board and the developers were measures to protect and monitor migrating birds and bats. Research director with the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Mark Shieldcastle, explained that more than 1 million birds use the area for migration and foraging habitat every year.
The top U.S. energy regulator is chastising his colleagues in a very public Twitter dispute that shines a light on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s inner workings.
Last week, Assemblyman Fred Thiele pulled his support for Deepwater, joining a coalition of commercial fishermen, Montauk and Wainscott residents, and others who think the proposed wind farm is a Trojan horse. “Fred’s comments are very significant,” Bragman said. “I intend to talk to him about it. It won’t lower the carbon footprint . . . this massive infrastructure in this tiny hamlet is unsettling.”
Cables from Hornsea Three would come ashore at Weybourne, while cables from Vattenfall’s two wind farms would reach Norfolk at Happisburgh. Both would then need trenches up to 60 kilometres long to be dug across the Norfolk countryside to connect them to the National Grid. Mr Freeman said he was not against the principle of wind farms ...But he said he felt local communities had not been properly engaged with and the siting of a substation the size of Wembley Stadium at Necton was inappropriate.
On Dec. 28, then-Gov. Dannel Malloy and former Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee announced 100 megawatts from Revolution Wind as the sole offshore wind project. Two nuclear plants and nine solar projects were among the other successful bids.
Add it up: No net economic benefits. Environmental damages. Growing public opposition. A variety of likely legal actions. The Great Lakes are held in the public trust by each bordering state and Canada. Accordingly, any proposal that will pollute and endanger the lakes should be wholly rejected by the agencies charged with protecting them, in this case the OPSB.
The first utility-scale wind farm proposed for U.S. waters will face a crucial vote in Rhode Island as fishermen’s groups threaten to block the project. Today, the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) is expected to decide whether to certify the 84-turbine Vineyard Wind proposal as consistent with state policies that govern the shared use of the ocean.
Two weeks ago the Fishermen’s Advisory Board (FAB) received a financial compensation offer from Vineyard Wind for the disruption the 84-turbine facility would have on commercial fishing grounds. With money from Vineyard Wind, the FAB hired an economist to study the offer and an attorney to help with legal issues, and now both parties want more time to review and negotiate.
"[This] is the classic 'bait and switch.' What we were originally told about the project and its goals are no longer true. A project originally proposed by an American company to address the growing energy needs of eastern Long Island, now is to be part of the portfolio of an international energy giant, whose first decision was a 44-percent increase in the size of the project. We are left to imagine what other changes might be made or what other projects might show up on our doorstep in the future. . . . Because of the 'bait and switch' tactics of Deepwater/Orsted, I cannot trust them with my community's future."
Fishermen and council staff tried to convince Vineyard Wind to widen spacing between its turbines and change their configuration to align with industry-standard fishing lanes in the area, but the company argued that its tight schedule for construction prevented such changes. With the sides deadlocked, talk turned to mitigation.
Harris explained that the major reason the projects were based in the Massachusetts/Rhode Island area was that the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, had not completed a lease auction for the other areas in the waters off New York, and may not until this year’s end or next year. The current New York bid solicitation required that developers currently hold lease rights to their proposed projects.
A dizzying description of industrial players, leases, government agencies, and technical sounding energy phrases leaves even the determined reader at a loss to keep up. It is clear that the pace of decisions by the federal and state governments are bringing us very close to a no-return point over questions of design, scope and layout for the biggest ocean turbines ever to be installed (roughly 600′ tall or double the height of the Statue of Liberty). ...Whether you’re involved in the ocean economy or not, the current review process on off-shore wind will determine a lot about the future of the coastal New England communities we cherish. While ocean wind power is coming, there remain safety issues yet to be resolved.
The analysis indicates a working wind farm last winter would have reduced the region’s carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity prices, but not enough to eliminate the impact of the region’s pipeline constraints. The analysis also shows that a wind farm’s energy production is highly variable, going up and down fairly dramatically over the course of a day.
Less than three weeks before Rhode Island coastal regulators are set to vote on a key approval for its $2-billion offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind has yet to come forward with a compensation package for the state’s commercial fishermen who say that the layout of the company’s 84 turbines will block access to valuable Atlantic Ocean fishing grounds.
In fact, the BPU declined to identify the three bidders who submitted applications in a press release announcing what it described as regaining New Jersey’s place as a “leader when it comes to clean renewable energy and offshore wind power.’’ Asked to supply further details about the projects in emails and phone calls, Peter Peretzman, a spokesman for the agency responded, “We are not sharing additional information at this time.’’
The feed-in-tariff needs to reflect the extraordinarily high costs faced by Greater Changhua 1 and 2a, mainly related to creating a local supply chain at scale, reinforcing the onshore grid infrastructure and building, operating and maintaining offshore wind farms in challenging waters where typhoons and earthquakes occur.
The recent record-breaking auction of development rights for offshore wind-energy installations off the coast of southern New England proves that developers are confident that obstacles to their construction and operation will likely be few. But after just two years of operation of the nation’s first offshore wind facility — the much-heralded Block Island Wind Farm — there is still a great deal unknown about their long-term environmental impact.
Although the wind farm would be built in federal waters and supply power to Massachusetts, Rhode Island has the latitude to effectively veto it. By law, development in federal waters cannot interfere with a state’s coastal activities, such as fishing, and must comply with state regulations.
“There are a lot of areas off the coast that would not be permissible (for wind turbines) because they are training mission routes,” said Bill Bethea, chairman of the S.C. Military Base Task Force. “It’s not telling you what you can and can’t do. It tells you how to go about it.”