Category Archives: Offshore Wind/Industrialization

Washington State Marine Spatial Planning: Are ‘winds of change’ in store for local waters?

Could Pacific Ocean wind farms and fish-rearing net pens in Willapa Bay become future industries in Pacific County? Those are some possibilities being studied among an array of new potential ocean uses mentioned by the Washington Department of Ecology during a public meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Long Beach.  Marine Spatial Planning for Washington’s offshore waters was discussed by members of an inter-agency team led by Washington Department of Ecology Senior Ocean Planner Jennifer Hennessey. About 24 community members — including county officials, commercial fishermen and local oyster farmers — attended to listen or provide formal testimony regarding their concerns about new potential ocean uses and possible impacts on existing industries. click here to read the story 21:08

Trawlermen vs Turbines: Offshore Wind Farms Putting Scottish Fishermen Out of Business

Celebrated in the BBC reality TV series, ‘Trawlermen’ the men that brave the waves in search of the seafood that graces British dining tables, restaurants and fish and chip shops risk life and limb to bring the catch home. Ruthlessly competitive, British fishermen not only have to contend with mountainous seas and other Trawlermen, now the fishing grounds that they fiercely guard as their own are literally being stolen out from under them. In just the latest example, Scottish Trawlermen operating in the Moray Firth are about to be displaced by hundreds of offshore wind turbines. The fishermen concerned are hoping that they might receive some kind of compensation for the massive financial loss. From STT’s long association with the wind industry, we wish them luck – they’re going to need it. click here to read the story 08:12

Offshore Wind Farm Costs $150,000 Per Home Currently Powered

An offshore wind farm in Rhode Island went online Monday, but building it costed $150,000 for every household powered. Three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I., the wind farm is currently generating enough electricity to power 2,000 homes, but building the five turbines costed $300 million. That’s roughly $150,000 per household just to build the turbines, not to operate them. To put this in some perspective, the U.S.’s newest nuclear reactor, Watts Bar Unit 2, cost $4.7 billion to build but powered 4.5 million homes. The extremely high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists and progressives however, because, “it’s the precedent that counts.”  click here to read the rest 11:37

US Doubles Down On Wave Energy, $40 Mil For New Test Bed

It looks like the US is about to get much, much more serious about developing its vast wave energy potential. Researchers have been working at several relatively modest sites in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, and now the Energy Department has announced funding for a new, $40 million utility scale test site in the waters of the continental US, off the coast of Oregon. The new wave energy test site will be built and operated under the auspices of Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. In a press release announcing the plan to invest up to $40 million in the nation’s first utility scale wave energy test site, the Energy Department noted that more than half of the population of the US lives within 50 miles of a coastline. All things being equal, coastal populations are expected to grow, but getting zero emission energy to coastal regions is becoming more complex and difficult. Aging coastal nuclear power plants will most likely not be replaced, and population density limits the potential for utility scale wind farms and solar arrays on land. Another limitation for land-based renewable energy in coastal areas is the need for new long distance transmission lines. Plans have been in place for years to bring wind power from the wind rich midwest to points east, but the new lines have had to battle against fossil fuel interests as well as local stakeholders. One solution is to tap the waters of the US coastlines. Read the rest here 12:40

Monhegan Island is the wrong place for wind turbines

floating windmillA recent Press Herald article described Protect Monhegan as a “small group” of island residents seeking the relocation of wind turbines to be placed little more than two miles from our island. While we may be small in terms of the big institutions we are up against – Maine’s largest public university (the University of Maine), largest construction company (Cianbro Corp.) and second-largest electric utility (Emera Maine) – we represent the views of nearly half of Monhegan Island residents, as well as many other seasonal residents and visitors from around the world. Like many of us who live here, they simply can’t understand why – of all the places along Maine’s 3,500-mile coastline – the waters off Monhegan must be the place to experiment with two 585-foot wind turbines. The fact is, the process that led to this decision has been anything but transparent. What was originally presented as a one-eighth-scale turbine, which would be tested for two five-month periods, has morphed into a 20-year-long major project, with industrial-scale wind turbines on floating towers and backed by $48 million of taxpayer money. Read the rest here 08:35

U.S. to Auction 79,000 Acres Offshore New York for Wind Energy

wind farmThe United States Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that 79,350 acres offshore New York will be offered in a December 15 commercial wind lease sale. The New York Wind Energy Area starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles from Jones Beach, New York, on Long Island. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 miles southeast at its longest portion. The lease area consists of five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks. After reviewing comments received on the environmental assessment, BOEM removed about 1,780 acres from the lease area due to environmental concerns regarding a seafloor feature known as the Cholera Bank. In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures. As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the proposed sale notice. In response to concerns raised by commercial fishing interests, BOEM also has included a lease requirement for the lessee to develop a publicly available fisheries communications plan and work with a fisheries liaison to facilitate communication with the fishing industry. Read the rest here 16:09

Department of the Interior to auction over 79,000 acres offshore New York for wind development

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that 79,350 acres offshore New York will be offered in a December 15 commercial wind-lease sale. The New York Wind Energy Area starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nm southeast at its longest portion. The lease area consists of five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks. After reviewing comments received on the Environmental Assessment, BOEM removed about 1,780 acres from the lease area due to environmental concerns regarding a seafloor feature known as the Cholera Bank. In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures. As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the Proposed Sale Notice. Read the rest here 13:55

Nova Scotia fishermen were in court today to stop Bay of Fundy tidal test project

tidal turbinesA group representing 175 Nova Scotia fishermen appeared in court Thursday in a bid stop a plan to test giant electric turbines in the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association says the Cape Sharp Tidal project is based on “junk science” and should be put on hold until a year-long study can establish a scientific baseline for the state of the bay.  In June, Nova Scotia’s environment minister granted approval for the installation of two, five-storey turbines on the bottom of the bay for tidal power research. The association has filed an application for a judicial review of that decision, saying the minister acted unreasonably and failed to adequately consider evidence that suggests the project requires more study. Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge Denise Boudreau said a two-day hearing on the merits of the application would begin on Feb. 1, 2017. As well, she said a hearing could be held on Oct. 20 if the association decides to file a motion seeking a stay of the minister’s decision. Link 17:02

As US’ first offshore wind farm takes root, study indicates wind may be more powerful, turbulent than expected

deepwaterwindbiwf_0University of Delaware researchers report in a new study that offshore wind may be more powerful, yet more turbulent than expected in the North Eastern United States. The findings, published in a paper in theJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, could have important implications for the future development of offshore wind farms in the U.S., including the assessment of how much wind power can be produced, what type of turbines should be used, how many turbines should be installed and the spacing between each. The paper’s main finding is that atmospheric conditions around Cape Wind are predominantly turbulent, or unstable, which is in stark contrast to prevailing data from European offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. “By contrast, our study found that wind conditions at Cape Wind are unstable between 40 and 80 percent of the time, depending on season and time of day,” Read the story here 20:55

World first Anglesey underwater energy ‘sea kite’ project in licence bid

_90432481_deepgreenSwedish-based Minesto has applied to fix its underwater energy ‘kites’ in the sea off Holyhead on Anglesey. It is part of plans for a 10MW underwater power plant, supplying the power needs of about 8,000 households. Developers said it would be the first full-scale operation of its kind in the world, following quarter-scale ocean testing off Northern Ireland. The technology uses tidal currents to force water through a turbine as the underwater kites “fly” through the sea. Read the rest here 11:39

Confusion, rancor, and yes, fear, after LIPA wind farm meeting postponed

deepwaterwindbiwf_0New York State’s decision to postpone LIPA’s consideration of an offshore wind farm that is popular with environmentalists prompted confusion and rancor in its aftermath, as the Cuomo administration works on a wind-energy blueprint that could include other areas directly off Long Island. LIPA trustees had been scheduled to vote last Wednesday on a 90-megawatt wind-farm proposal by developer Deepwater Wind in the federal Rhode Island wind-energy area 30 miles from Montauk Point. But a late-night decision by NYSERDA prompted cancellation of the board meeting, an unprecedented move, and postponement of the vote.  The state’s decision to postpone the trustee vote disappointed Long Island environmentalists and at least one East End official, who have expressed frustration for years about LIPA’s on-again, off-again wind ambitions. One group was rumored to have bought Champagne for the board meeting. “It’s awful, pulling a major meeting like this at the last minute,” said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island and a longtime advocate for solar and wind power. “It causes a lot of uncertainty and it scares people. lol! ok! “Those [potential] wind-energy areas would destroy multiple fisheries,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., a Rhode Island commercial fishing group. Added Drew Minkiewicz, an attorney for the Fisheries Survival Fund, representing commercial scallopers, “All of them [wind-energy areas] are right smack dab in the middle of scallop grounds.” Now, that’s scary. Read the rest here 15:29

Long Island Power Authority to approve plan to build 15 wind turbines 30 miles southeast of Montauk

BN-OX426_0714ny_P_20160714110311Long Island would get New York state’s first offshore wind farm, a collection of wind turbines off Montauk that could provide energy for 50,000 homes, under an agreement detailed Thursday. The board of trustees of the Long Island Power Authority, a state authority, is expected to vote Wednesday to approve a plan with Deepwater Wind LLC, which would build 15 wind turbines on a open-ocean site it leases from the federal government. The plan has drawn opposition from the commercial fishing industry, worried about disturbances to prime fish-nursery areas. Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the project would “maim and kill fish” through years of pile driving and laying of cable. She said the bases of the towers would then permanently alter the undersea environment. “These industrial projects should not be built where things live,” she said. “From a commercial fishing standpoint we are being sold out.” Read the rest here 10:02

Floating turbine system to be tested in Bay of Fundy, The Holy Grail

untitled floater turbineA Dutch firm that calls the Bay of Fundy “the holy grail” aims to exploit the bay’s powerful tidal currents by testing a floating turbine system starting next year. Halifax-based Minas Energy announced Tuesday it was partnering with Dutch firm Tocardo International BV and Ontario-based International Marine Energy Inc. to form the Minas Tidal Limited Partnership. The new partnership plans to test the Dutch company’s technology in the Minas Passage by late 2017, the third distinct approach announced recently to harnessing the bay’s powerful forces. “We feel brave enough to go to the Bay of Fundy,” said Van Breugel. “The Bay of Fundy is the holy grail.” Read the rest here 11:49

Meanwhile in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia government approves “experimental” turbine deployment

tidal turbinesThe Nova Scotia government has approved a plan to deploy two experimental tidal turbines in the Minas Passage for research purposes. The government announced the approval of the proposed monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture in a news release on Monday. The turbines, which are each 16 metres in diameter and weigh 1,000 tonnes, were originally scheduled for deployment last year, but were delayed by weather. Fishermen and environmental groups have raised concerns that the giant turbines would have a negative impact on marine life in the Bay of Fundy. Environment Minister Margaret Miller said in a news release that the full environmental impact of the project will not be known until the turbines are in the water.  Read the rest here 11:34

A massive coastal wind farm off Long Island will please pretty much no one

cape-wind-power-farm-b1Election year is the season to channel more money into renewable energy resources because it tends to carry some significant sway with the liberal base. With that in mind, the green light has been given (yet again) to plans for a truly massive “wind farm” in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island. But the usual liberal caveat of NIMBY (“Not in my back yard”) is always in play when such plans come close to fruition and this one is no exception. Some of the chief opponents to this forest of turbine towers are the fishermen who make their living in the targeted waters. Read the rest here 11:05

Interior Approves New York City Offshore Wind Project, Commercial Fishermen Oppose

cape-wind-power-farm-b1The Offshore Wind Project in New York City is given a go signal by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) last week. On the other hand, the commercial fishermen disagree in building windmills on pylons within approximately 329 square kilometers of the New York Bight. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the department took a major step in broadening the nation’s energy portfolio, channeling power near population centers on the East Coast. The Offshore Wind Project is a public-private collaboration by Con Edison, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and New York Power Authority (NYPA). On the other hand, the fishing industry has urged for BOEM to relocate the project. They reasoned that the wind development might constraint valuable scallop habitat and initiate navigational hazards for fishing boats. They added that the construction of the project could also harm the scallop fishery. Read the rest here 08:25

Fishermen Oppose, but New York Bureaucrats are determined to build a wind farm off the coast of Long Island

john-b-rhodesNew York State is mounting a broad effort to reduce the cost of building a wind farm off the coast of Long Island, an ambitious push to generate clean power in U.S. waters. The state’s Energy Research and Development Authority plans to bid for a federal lease to develop a 81,000-acre (127-square-mile) site in the Atlantic Ocean. If it wins, New York would undertake initial site studies and pursue an agreement to sell the electricity. The state would then hold an auction of its own, selling development rights to the highest bidder. New York officials see offshore wind as critical for meeting the state’s goal to get half its power from renewable sources by 2030. By doing the initial planning and guaranteeing a buyer for the power, the state intends to make the project appealing to developers, driving down costs and making it more likely the wind farm will be built. “This is a resource that has to be, and will be, developed,” John B. Rhodes, president and chief executive of the New York State authority, said in an interview Friday. “It is our job to do it as surefootedly and cost efficiently as possible.” Read the rest here  20:06

The first of two towering tidal power turbines to enter Bay of Fundy next month

XAV101_20160519340671_highThe first of two towering turbines designed by Cape Sharp Tidal to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy will be installed next month off the coast of Nova Scotia, an company official announced Thursday. Sarah Dawson, the community relations manager for the project, said one of the five-storey high, two-megawatt turbines built in Pictou by Aecon Atlantic Industrial Inc., will be loaded on a barge during the first week of June and travel around the province until it reaches the test site near Parrsboro. That trip will take a couple of weeks. The new turbines are a bigger and more robust version of a turbine tested by OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power in 2009 that was heavily damaged by the Bay of Fundy’s powerful currents. Read the rest here 18:04

Two companies have proposed offshore wind farms in Hawaii

floating windmillThe federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that would decide whether to approve ocean leases for the projects, held a meeting about the proposals Monday. Among concerns raised so far is the potential danger that whales or submarines could bump into the cords anchoring the turbines to the ocean floor, said Henry Curtis, executive director of Life of the Land, a Hawaii nonprofit organization. “Do you want to really turn the ocean into the next industrial site?” Curtis asked. Some fishermen are concerned about the possible impact on birds flying over the sea. “The best fish spotters we have are birds,” said Ron Tam, secretary of the Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition. “And then, are we going to be able to fish in and about and through these floating machines? We don’t know…That has a definite economic impact.” Read the rest here 11:42

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoes offshore wind project again

cape-wind-power-farm-b1Christie has vetoed a bill that could have resurrected Fishermen’s Energy’s 24MW Atlantic City offshore wind project. The legislation, which passed both houses of the state legislature in March, would have required regulators to open a new 30-day application window for small offshore wind projects. The Board of Public Utilities previously rejected Fishermen’s pilot over cost and viability concerns. It’s the second time Christie has quashed Fishermen’s hopes. He vetoed a similar bill in January. Read the rest here 12:16

Is America’s First Offshore Wind Farm A Real Revolution Or Just Another Green Boondoggle?

Manna From Heaven: How D.E. Shaw and a politically connected attorney persuaded Rhode Island to build America’s first-ever offshore wind farm–and a risk-free money machine. So how did they pull this off? Connections. A decade ago Grybowski was chief of staff to then Governor Don Carcieri, who pushed the Rhode Island General Assembly to back offshore wind as a way of diversifying the tiny state’s power supply. Grybowski, an attorney, left Carcieri and went into private practice in 2007. Two years later the state passed a bill to support offshore wind. The state took it upon itself to study wind speeds, talk to fishermen and boaters, and contemplate the effect that pile-driving would have on migrating whales. It was the state that chose the Block Island site and, to use Grybowski’s word, “deconflicted” the project. Read the rest here 17:25

Deepwater Wind Farm project and delays are negatively affecting fishermen

Bi-Wind-Farm-ribbon-cutting-620x400National Grid to ask for extension – Won’t impact overall project schedule! Click here  That’s the problem. It won’t hurt the project, but it is affecting the fishermen. One of them contacted us, and is wild that the project has a barge and tug planted in the area he was planning on working. The project has had major impacts on fishermen, such as, the run through RI’s historic Black Point fish trap click here which essentially forced the guy to settle, and now they are running behind on land and with cable laying. After repeated promises that there would be no exclusion zone around the towers after last summer (which also needed to be extended a month and a half for which fishermen went uncompensated), the Coast Guard has now enacted another exclusion zone for which DWW says it will not compensate fishermen. Also, they have refused to compensate fishermen for the pre cable laying grapnel runs and cable installations, which, if they follow their patterns of delay and incompetence, will also hurt the industry. 07:16

An assortment of today’s offshore energy article’s, titles, and links – Are you losing your grounds?

New York – A Commitment To Wind Energy – Click here  Martha’s Vineyard – DONG Energy meets and greets Islanders – Click here  New Jersey – Fishermen’s Energy Ocean Wind Project Tries Again for Governor’s Approval – Click here  New York – Interior Department designates area 11 miles off Long Beach coast – Click here  California – US Considers 800-MW Floating Wind Farm in California – Click here  Bay of Fundy – Fundy tidal energy study to look at seabirds, lobster, acoustic environment – Click here Yarmouth, N.S. – Developers of proposed wind power project off Yarmouth will consult with fisheries, others, company says – Click here  14:51

80k acres off Long Island coast dedicated (HIJACKED) for wind energy

Federal officials on Wednesday dedicated hijacked more than 125 square miles in the waters off the coast of Long Island for the development of commercial wind energy, pushing forward a renewable energy proposal initially created by New York utilities. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the state has “tremendous” offshore wind potential. “Today’s milestone marks another important step in the president’s strategy to tap clean, renewable energy from the nation’s vast wind and solar resources,” she said in a statement. Read the rest here 08:29

Black Point Fish Trap to close due to windmill farm cable installation

Nat'l%20Grid%201.0_0The largest and oldest fish trap in Rhode Island will be closed due to the installation of the undersea transmission cable that will connect the Block Island Wind Farm to the mainland. Rich Fuka, the President of the R.I. Fishermen’s Alliance, returned a phone call from The Block Island Times, confirming the fish trap “will have to suspend operations, which is a very big deal for Rhode Island. It’s our state’s oldest fishery.” Fuka said it was also the largest. The fish trap is located at the mouth of the west passage of Narragansett Bay. The fish trap cannot be moved, both Fuka and Mastrati acknowledged.  The fish trap is not a fishery, but rather the location where the floating fish traps are used. Read the rest here 18:20

Sounds of ships and windfarms ‘may alter marine ecosystem’

Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures which play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research. The study found exposure to sounds that resemble shipping traffic and offshore construction results in behavioural responses in certain invertebrate species which live in the marine sediment. These species make a crucial contribution to the seabed ecosystem as their burrowing and bioirrigation activities (how much the organism moves water in and out of the sediment by its actions) are vital in nutrient recycling and carbon storage. Read the rest here 09:54

Offshore Wind Spin in Morro Bay – trawling and netting would be off limits

floating windmillAt a public forum Thursday in Morro Bay, residents grilled officials from a Seattle-based wind-energy company on how their proposal to install 100 windmills off the coast might affect fishing, views and the environment. Officials with Trident Winds (UK) sought to put the audience of about 100 people at ease, saying the structures would have minimal impacts while supplying renewable energy for up to 300,000 California households. Read the article here 09:03

Study: Offshore wind’s impacts on fisheries unclear; federal report calls for more research

AR-151209750.jpg&MaxW=650Advocates for regional fishing industries and marine life are concerned about the impacts of offshore wind turbines as deep-pocketed, experienced developers eye construction in ocean waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. The offshore wind industry has been touted as a key piece of New Bedford’s economic future, but advocates’ concerns are reflected in a federal report that says little is known about how turbines could affect fish populations. State Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, is sponsoring energy legislation that includes intended to boost turbine development. Read the article here 17:27

Three offshore wind companies – The Ghost of Cape Wind

AR-151119681.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=650The three offshore wind companies seeking to build large-scale turbine projects on ocean waters south of Martha’s Vineyard said emphatically Friday that financing their projects wouldn’t be a problem, should the state give legislative support in a potential energy bill next spring. “Of all the challenges that we think about…financing projects is not one of them,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, whose company is backed by an entity of the D.E. Shaw Group, a global investment and technology development firm. Read the rest here 14:03

Gov. Cuomo Sinks Proposed Gas Terminal Off Long Island

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rejected a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the waters off New York and New Jersey, effectively killing the project amid an outcry from residents of some coastal communities that it could endanger the environment and be a target for terrorists. The deep-water docking station known as Port Ambrose was to be built 19 miles off Jones Beach on Long Island and 29 miles off Long Brach, New Jersey. Liberty Natural Gas LLC, the company vying to develop Port Ambrose, said the port would allow it to inject natural gas into the New York-area pipeline,,, Read the rest here 17:55