Articles filed under Offshore Wind
The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance has taken the lead in advocating for the fishing industry. It says a major concern is that fishing vessels could strike one of the massive wind farm turbines in bad weather. In addition, it says the spinning blades interfere with the radar vessels use to find their catch. And fishermen like Gilbert worry that the structures will alter the ocean ecosystem. “We’re racing forward without the proper science to evaluate if this is good or if this is bad,” Gilbert said.
Hawaii has long been a national leader in solar energy production, but the state is lagging in a quest to reach a renewable-energy frontier that appeared to be on the horizon several years ago.
The state Senate and Assembly on Thursday approved a bill giving state regulators the authority to seize property or grant easements for transmission lines carrying electricity from offshore windmills to the power grid, even over local objections. The companion bills, S3926 and A5894, authorize “certain offshore wind projects to construct power lines and obtain real property interests; grants BPU authority to supersede certain local governmental powers upon petition from offshore wind project.”
“At one time the call area was 120 square miles and so that’s what we decided on and that’s what the fishermen and the city thought was going to happen — and it didn’t,” Hafer said. “Then it grew immensely after that ... Now they want to take away almost 400 square miles. And so we’re basically screwed.” “I’m quite concerned that this feels like a gold rush — that the nation and offshore wind developers are just rushing for this as a solution that will help with climate change without really thinking about the consequences,” Scheiblauer said.
A compromise has emerged in the state Legislature that would install a permanent ban on wind energy development in state waters and give the fishing industry a seat at the table on any federal projects that want to connect to land through the state’s jurisdiction. The compromise came from the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, which had been considering a pair of dueling bills on offshore wind. The first was an outright ban of state agencies permitting wind development in the Gulf of Maine proposed by local state Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor). The second was a 10-year moratorium on offshore wind power projects in state waters that came from Governor Janet Mills.
While the City Council of the City of Ocean City understands the desire of the state to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, rushing to accomplish this goal without due process, full disclosure of facts, ample public debate of the environmental impacts and circumventing of the Home Rule Act does not reflect a truly democratic process. All that these bills accomplish is to short circuit the ability of local officials, who know their community the best, the ability to have meaningful input on issues that will significantly affect their communities for minimally the next 25 years.
President Biden wants to catch up fast — in fact, his targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions depend on that happening. Yet problems abound, including a shortage of boats big enough to haul the huge equipment to sea, fishermen worried about their livelihoods and wealthy people who fear that the turbines will mar the pristine views from their waterfront mansions.
The depths of the Pacific Ocean makes installing traditional offshore wind turbines difficult. Floating turbines will likely be the technology of choice off the California coast.
News outlets breathlessly reported the great news that California and the feds will build a 399 square mile floating wind farm to generate electricity. The farm will be located 17 to 40 miles offshore west and north of Morro Bay, and will generate a whopping 3 Giga Watts (3 GWh) of power – enough to power a million homes. ...this is just another big sack of steaming, stinking, rotting BS that politicians hope to sell to Californians.
“If the council certifies the project as consistent, it will make a mockery of the process,” Michael Jarbeau, baykeeper with the environmental group, said before the council vote. “This might be the correct project, but it is certainly not the correct location.” He quoted from an analysis from the council’s own staff that described the project site as “one of the worst possible locations within Rhode Island Sound” for the wind farm. “We agree,” Jarbeau said. “While we understand there are risks of habitat loss to meet wind energy goals, this project will disrupt some of the most valuable habitat in Rhode Island Sound.”
In a nondescript building near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, a glimpse of Maryland’s clean energy future is on vivid display.
But the Fishermen's Advisory Board in Rhode Island is opposing the package, according to a report in the Providence Journal. A lawyer for the group, Marisa Desautel, said the group has "serious concerns with the lack of information provided by Orsted" about the mitigation fund, including Orsted's involvement in how it will be paid out. The compensation package, to be paid over 30 years (or reduced to $5.2 million if taken as an upfront payment), was below a scientific study that estimated potential losses to fishermen of $15 million to $40.4 million, according to the paper.
The court ruled that because BOEM doesn't technically commit to anything at the lease stage, it is too early to challenge the siting of the wind farm under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The decision means that affected parties cannot challenge a lease location under NEPA until BOEM approves a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the wind farm. However, that is very late in the process, and changing the lease location at such a late date would be exceedingly difficult.
Beyond the benefits of clean energy and conservation, developers say the project also will create 3,658 full-time jobs in Massachusetts between 2019 and 2047. Sanfilippo is suspicious of the job claims. "Nowhere have they said how many people, how many fishermen, they're going to displace," she said. "It's like we don't exist and the fishing grounds don't exist."
Environmentalists, commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, labor unions, homeowners, boardwalk businesses, NIMBYs and ratepayer advocates are all circling Orsted, the Dutch wind power company behind what could be one of the largest wind farms in North America. Local, state and federal officials are also starting to feel the heat. Just about everyone involved, including David Hardy, CEO of Orsted US, worries the project could devolve into chaos.
“An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident and the best course of action going forward,” added a statement from Vattenfall. “So far, a 500 meter safety zone has been established around the mill, in which ships are not allowed to travel.”
An offshore wind development project off the coast of Morro Bay was halted by the U.S. Navy in 2018 because the designated area conflicted with naval operations, but the project is back on track after reducing its size.
A board of fishermen that advises Rhode Island coastal regulators on offshore wind development has come out in opposition to state certification of the South Fork Wind Farm. A lawyer for the Fishermen’s Advisory Board said a recommendation by staff at the Coastal Resources Management Council that was agreed to by developers Ørsted and Eversource to reduce the number of turbines in the 132-megawatt project and set up a fishing compensation fund does not meet the concerns of board members.
The federal government plans to open more than 250,000 acres off the California coast to wind development, the Biden administration announced Tuesday as part of a major effort to ramp up the nation’s renewable energy and cut its climate-warming emissions.
PROVIDENCE — The developers of the South Fork Wind Farm are set to reduce the number of turbines from 15 to 12 in response to a request from Rhode Island coastal regulators who want to minimize disruption to the marine environment and the state’s fishing industry.