Articles from Maryland
It is uncertain what steps the PSC will take next, although the state agency does have the authority to rescind the original approvals or amend them. In an official filing outlining the re-opening of the public comment period, the PSC said filings earlier this fall made it clear both companies are moving toward the larger turbines. It’s important to note the PSC approval was based on the “best available technology” when the ORECs were awarded and in the years since, technological advances have significantly increased the size of the proposed turbines.
Two wind farms proposed off the coast of Ocean City, Md., are getting a second look from the state of Maryland. The Skipjack Wind Farm, led by Danish company Ørsted, and the MarWin Wind Farm by Baltimore-based U.S. Wind, a subsidiary of the Italian renewable energy company Renexia, are being reviewed in response to concerns raised by Ocean City officials about the farms' impact on tourism to the famous vacation spot.
Residents and property owners fear that aside from driving tourists to vacation elsewhere, visible wind turbines could drive down real estate values. Michael James, managing partner of the 21-story Carousel Hotel at 118th Street and Coastal Highway, said he worries the sight of turbines four times taller than that building would ruin a view that people pay a premium for. “A lot of people work a long time to come to Ocean City and buy a condo,” he said. “It is a resort where view matters.”
When they respond in defensive ways and attack the very character of the people whom they represent, they are working against citizen engagement and contributing to a one-sided debate — the side that agrees with them. One-sided debates only lead to ill-considered decisions.
After first denying a setback variance for project in 2015, the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 2-1 on Oct. 17 to permit the project. Dan’s Mountain LLC must now try to gain approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to proceed with construction. Opponents of the wind farm say the turbines create excessive noise pollution, light flicker and destruction of neighborhood views.
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.
Last week, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) fired off a letter to the PSC urging the agency to reopen the cases awarding the ORECs to the two projects and reconsider the original approvals. The MEA letter, penned by MEA Director Mary Beth Tung, cites the significantly increasing size of the wind turbines for both projects as reason enough to revisit the original approvals.
From cold-loving fungus to high-powered wind turbines, Maryland’s bats are getting annihilated. The decline of the Maryland bat population
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.
Final ruling on the construction of 17 turbines on Dan's Mountain expected Oct. 16
One week after proposal to swap an area of the Fenwick Island State Park to the developer of one of Maryland’s two offshore wind projects for an onshore power station in exchange for millions of dollars in amenities at the otherwise quiet park, a coalition of homeowners has fired off a letter to state officials seeking to have the project derailed.
“I was a little caught off guard with this news about the significant increase, the 853-feet high turbines,” Sen. Corozza explained. “This has significantly increased from the original proposal.” While the focus on the criticism has largely been centered around tourism, commerical fishery is also of a concern, according to Sen. Corozza, who highlighted the concerns expressed by fisherman in her district who have appeared at several public forums with a host of questions regarding the project.
"Once you include the blade, that's well over 800 feet tall, that's almost 2-and-a-half times the height of the largest building in Ocean City, so these are significant structures that are going to be placed off our coastline," Meehan said.
We are writing you in regards to the Board of Zoning Appeals Hearing (BOZA) scheduled Oct. 9, involving Dan’s Mountain Wind Force (Case No. 942 and 943 remanded).
“Now, we understand that the developers are proposing to install 12 megawatt towers approaching 500 feet in height,” the town’s letter to Hogan reads. “In order for a structure that large to be invisible from Ocean City, they would need to be located at least 33 miles from our coast. The visual impact and the associated negative affect on tourism, property values and the environment of these giant structures, now more than twice the height of the tallest high-rise in Ocean City and allowed within 10 miles of our shore cannot be understated.”
“With the introduction of 12 MW, it is going to be the biggest machine ever deployed — the most powerful machines in the world.” The new units are bigger in megawatts generated and capacity and rotor diameter, he said. The GE turbine has a rotor diameter of 220 meters (722 feet). Each blade is 107 meters (351 feet) long, sweeping a total area of 38.000 square meters (409,000 square feet), according to Ørsted.
Construction on the 328-foot tall meteorological tower 14 miles off the coast is in full swing.
MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles said in a statement that the projects posed “an unacceptable trade-off for the environmental benefits of clean energy. ...these two proposed projects would harm the nearby high-quality stream in Charles County and threaten our continued restoration progress in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.” ...The projects’ rejections come amid continuing friction in Maryland over the siting of renewable energy projects, particularly solar.
Throughout the process, the town of Ocean City has supported the US Wind project in general, but has strongly opposed the placement of any turbines within 26 miles of the resort coast, or the distance from which town officials believe the massive turbines would not be visible from the Ocean City shoreline.