Library filed under Impact on People from New Jersey
New Jersey is moving aggressively to become the leader in the fast-growing offshore wind energy industry on the East Coast, but not everyone is blown away by those ambitious plans. While the state's Democratic political leadership is solidly behind a rapid build-out of wind energy projects off the coast — it has set a goal of generating 100% of its energy from clean sources by 2050 — opposition is growing among citizens groups, and even some green energy-loving environmentalists are wary of the pace and scope of the plans.
This resolution passed unanimously by the Cape May County Commissioner Board urges Orsted, PSEG, and the State of New Jersey to comprehensively and thoughtfully engage community stakeholders to address concerns of the potential detrimental impacts that the Ocean Wind project may cause to the environment, fishing industry, business community, and residents of Cape May County
They worry that wind farms with their soaring turbines could disrupt fish habitat, reroute fishing lanes, and force sport anglers farther out to sea. Lackner, of Montauk, N.Y., believes that the farms will narrow the currently wide-open pathways to the vessel he docks at Cape May so often that he calls it his second home. “We’ll have to tow in between turbines while dragging a quarter mile of gear,” Lackner said. “We’ll be passing boats, as our gear drifts. ... It’s not good to jump right into wind in such a big way.”
A proposed offshore wind farm continues to draw opposition from New Jersey's southern coastal communities. Ørsted's proposed project aims to construct 99 wind turbines about 15 miles off the coast from Atlantic City to Cape May. The wind turbines are expected to produce enough energy to power half a million homes by 2024, according to Ørsted officials.
“We have such a short tourism season anyway. If there is any negative impact – even if it cuts tourism by 10 percent – it is just not worth it for them to mess with a good thing,” said one person who wished to remain anonymous. “Let them experiment with it somewhere else. It is nothing more than an industrial park on the water.”
The Union Beach Borough Council authorized a special counsel in late June to seek an injunction from the state Superior Court that would block the transport of the wind turbine, but so far no hearing date for the injuction has been set.
Several noise violations from the borough's two power-generating wind turbines has led the Borough Council to shut the systems down between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the week. ...Borough officials received correspondence dated March 30 from the Ocean County Health Department indicating that a noise recording demonstrated violations of the state administrative code.
"People says the sound is like sneakers in the dryer or a threshing plant or a jet that never lands," she said. "If you close the windows and doors to keep out the noise, things are still going to vibrate." The tips of the turbine blades can reach speeds of 150 mph, killing lots of migrating birds.
I have never been more saddened by any action that our borough has taken. This atrocity is over the top for me. What are they thinking? This is not what going green is supposed to be like.
"It seems as though it's not cost effective or practical given the testimony that has just come up about the poles. I think this is nothing but a public relations ploy by Walmart to look green and entice more people to come shop in their stores," Forked River resident Regina Discenza said.
If Walmart extends their lighting poles and installs the windmills "It’s going to look like a circus,” he said. But residents are not only worried about what they will see when looking out their windows. “I think it would be a safety concern,” Kim Zarycki said as she reflected on when wind turbines malfunctioned on two Forked River farms this past year.
Sea Girt Mayor Mark Clemmensen, who made the announcement Wednesday in a prepared release, said that "this was a project which was wrong for Sea Girt as well as our neighbors in Manasquan and Spring Lake." "The governor called Mark and I up Tuesday to tell us the project was being terminated," Manasquan Mayor George Dempsey said.
The plan to install a 300 foot wind turbine at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt has been cancelled. This was a project which was wrong for Sea Girt as well as our neighbors in Manasquan and Spring Lake.
The BRSA is trying to force the turbine down the throats of the communities it serves and has irresponsibly spent more than $2 million on the project. By not first acquiring the additional land and ensuring that all permits were completed, it has put the ratepayers it serves at risk.
On page 5 of a GE Energy document titled "Wind Energy Basics", it states, "Siting wind turbines and assessing the feasibility of a proposed location must consider factors such as Community Acceptance and compatibility with adjacent land uses. ... Hence, megawatt-scale wind turbines cannot be located in densely populated areas." In Union Beach a "densely populated area" begins 1,080 feet from the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's site for their proposed 380-foot-tall GE industrial wind turbine.
Cape May is now facing a different kind of accommodation with the modern age, one that pits often-allied historic and environmental interests against each other: Green power. The city's Historic Preservation Commission is asking City Council wants to ban windmills and only wants solar systems in the historic district that can't be seen from the street.
When state Sen. Sean Kean saw the fierce opposition a proposed wind turbine stirred in his shore-area district, he came up with a solution: Bar the construction of industrial electricity-generating windmills within 2,000 feet of any residentially zoned land. But in the most densely populated state in the nation, environmentalists say it's a case of "not in my back yard" gone wild.
The project has been controversial from the start. Residents of Sea Girt have noted that the noise pollution and flicker effect could negatively affect property values, while environmental supporters cite negative affects on local wildlife.
Rible said there are enough questions about the safety of siting turbines close to homes to merit caution. "As a state legislator, I can't sign off until I know for sure it won't affect people in the area," he said. Rible and Angelini also co-sponsored a resolution specifically opposing the National Guard Training Center project.
Though he's publicly embraced energy-producing windmill farms, Gov. Chris Christie has literally drawn a line in the sand restricting them from being built on certain sections of New Jersey's coastline. ..."We have to recognize that there are some areas that are particularly sensitive," said Ruth Ehinger, manager of the state coastal management and watershed restoration unit.