Category Archives: Offshore Wind/Industrialization

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project. Sheldon??

For the past seven years, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has given a weekly address about the dangers of climate change. Increasingly, some greens wonder if he is full of hot air. The Rhode Island Democrat, one of the Senate’s top climate hawks, has emerged as a leading critic of Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine offshore wind project proposed in federal waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, Whitehouse’s statements echo concerns of Rhode Island squid fishermen, who have emerged as leading opponents of Vineyard Wind. >click to read< 12:21

EnBW North America hires fisheries liaison

EnBW North America has appointed Beth Casoni as the company’s fisheries liaison and has joined the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance’s (RODA) joint industry task force devoted to address issues of mutual interest to commercial fisheries and offshore wind. The company said its immediate attention is on the New York Bight – an area off the coasts of New York and New Jersey, where the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management is expected to auction wind lease areas in late 2020. >click to read< 11:22

Janet Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?

Gov. Janet Mills made a surprise announcement when she addressed world leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit last week: She had issued an executive order pledging that Maine will be carbon-neutral by 2045.,,, Renewable power drives everything. So what is that likely to look like? The good news is that Maine has massive renewable power potential, especially in regard to offshore wind, a sector the University of Maine is on the cutting edge of, having developed a floating turbine platform. Jacobson’s team already developed an all-renewable energy plan for Maine consisting of 35 percent offshore wind, >click to read< 17:25

Martha’s Vineyard Wind Turbine Globalism

The first offshore wind farm financial fiasco in the United States was launched off the coast of Rhode Island’s Block Island in 2016. The cost of placing 5 wind turbines was 290 million dollars. The high voltage electric cables cost more than the turbines themselves. Block Island residents were told they would save 40 percent on their electric rates if the turbines were installed.,, never got the rate cut.  The first Block Island wind turbine base was crushed during installation and later on start up a brand new gearbox had to be replaced. One out of the five turbines was defective the first day. The failure rate was twenty percent a business plan disaster. >click to read<  21:00

The Hamptons love green energy. But that wind farm?

This affluent enclave on the East End of Long Island is steeped in eco-conscious pride, with strict water quality and land preservation rules and an abundance of electric cars on the roads. So at first, many happily embraced a plan for an offshore wind farm that would help lead the way as New York State sets some of the most ambitious green energy goals in the country. But then came word that the project’s transmission cable was going to land in Wainscott, one of the most exclusive slices of the already exclusive Hamptons, where homeowners include the likes of the cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder and Marci Klein, a former longtime producer of “Saturday Night Live” and the daughter of Calvin Klein. >click to read< 08:21

Vineyard Wind Gasping for Air Until 2020

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has delayed the construction off our coast of Vineyard Wind, the country’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, until 2020. I believe President Trump is squarely behind all the concerns of the commercial fishing industry that haven’t been adequately resolved by the wind farm folks, and if you don’t get the problems addressed now, as Carlos Santana would say, “you can forget about it.” Because five other offshore wind projects are planned adjacent to the site. Phil Paleologos >click to read< 19:58

Opinion: Focus on oil industry, not lobstermen, in whale deaths

I went to the Aug. 20 meeting at NOAA regarding the lobster trap lines and the entanglement of the right whales.,, Larry Stepenuck brought up the problem of the mussel farms and their spat lines – another potential cause of whale entanglements. What! Is nobody hearing him? I think lobsterman Mike Goodwin also brought up a good point,,,  It’s a gold mine out there. The big oil rigs with their seismic testing, wind farms, fish farms, mining of the ocean floor, etc., want a piece of the action, and those pesky lobstermen are raining on their parade. by Sue Waller, >click to read<  20:43

Spacing of Deepwater RI Ocean Wind Turbines Ignored After Deaths

Where is the investigation of what effect the spacing of the Block Island Wind Farm had on the death of two fishermen New Years Eve? On January 1, 2019, New Year’s eve while almost everyone was celebrating the new year drinking, watching parades and fireworks the fishing industry boats were hard a work bringing in their catch. The Mistress a 52-foot fishing trawler in the vicinity of the Block Island wind farm at 1:30 AM took on the water which overtook the engine room. >click to read< 11:12 >click to read< our coverage of the F/V Mistress

Collision Course: Offshore Wind Turbines Present New (Unnecessary) Mortal Danger for Trawlermen

The fishermen who work off America’s Atlantic coast, are furious over plans to spear thousands of industrial wind turbines into their fishing grounds, destroying not only the seabed (the source of their income and prosperity), but wrecking their fishing grounds, forever. Trawlermen off the New Jersey coast have already told developers what they can do with their projects: Deepwater in Deep Trouble: Fishermen Tell Off-Shore Wind Farm Developers to [email protected]*#K Off,,, >click to read<  08:21

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms

Oceanographer Jon Hare listed the effects of offshore wind development on the marine environment. There’s disturbance to the sea floor during installation of turbine platforms.,,,“Putting a pile into the sediment in essence is habitat alteration,” said Hare, a science and research director with Northeast Fisheries Science Center.,,The questions about offshore wind, of course, aren’t limited to the $2.8-billion Vineyard Wind project,,,,but there are more than a dozen proposals in the works all along the Atlantic Coast and plans for the Great Lakes and the West Coast. >click to read< 21:06

Vineyard Wind project lands in rough waters

The project, jointly owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, had seemed to be gathering permits the way a kid gathers shells on the beach. One after another, the developer added them to the bucket. Then the snag: The Edgartown Conservation Commission on Wednesday denied an underwater cable route off the town’s coastline, citing the potential disturbance to marine habitats and other conflicts. (Local fishermen weren’t happy, either.) On Friday, Vineyard Wind vowed to get a “superseding order” from the state Department of Environmental Protection – a more sympathetic venue – that would overturn the commission vote. More trouble lurks: Vineyard Wind also disclosed that the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would not issue a crucial permit, as expected, this week,,, >click to read<10:43

Developer: We won’t pursue wind farm in waters off Hamptons

The developer of one of the largest of three proposed wind farms contemplated for the waters off the Hamptons has withdrawn its tentative plan in favor of sites to the west, and is urging the federal government to restrict turbines from East End waters, according to the Germany-based developer’s top U.S. official.,, Bill White, managing director of East Wind LLC, a subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, said Friday the decision to withdraw and recommend against development off the Hamptons was primarily related to concerns about impacts on fishing. >click to read<10:08

Solar And Wind – Taxpayer-Funded Ponzi Schemes with renewable portfolio laws, or quotas created by your elected politicians

The solar electricity industry is dependent on federal government subsidies for building new capacity. The subsidy consists of a 30% tax credit and the use of a tax scheme called tax equity finance. These subsidies are delivered during the first five years. For wind, there is a subsidy during the first five to ten years resulting from tax equity finance. There is also a production subsidy that lasts for the first ten years. The other subsidy for wind and solar, not often characterized as a subsidy, is state renewable portfolio laws, or quotas, that require that an increasing portion of a state’s electricity come from renewable sources. >click to read< 13:58

Offshore Wind: California’s New Gold Rush

When it comes to States promoting renewable, non-fossil electricity generation, California surely leads the list, from utility-scale regional grids to individual rooftop solar panels. In fact, a December 2018 update from the California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the state may already have exceeded an initial renewable generation goal of 33% by 2020..,,, CA’s offshore process started in earnest three years ago when a wind energy company then called Trident Wind – now Castle Wind – submitted an unsolicited request to BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) to lease a site in the Pacific near Morro Bay (about half-way between LA and San Francisco). >click to read<10:30

Undersea Power Cables – Electromagnetic fields have complex and possibly harmful effects on the valuable brown crab.

Over the past 10 years, Scotland has installed thousands of offshore wind turbines in the North Sea and is starting to deploy marine energy devices that generate power from tides and waves. It’s a green energy push that is slowly being replicated in coastal areas the world over. Though these installations are reducing coastal threats such as oil spills, they have the potential to cause other, more subtle, problems for marine life. From each offshore wind and tidal turbine, power cables snake to shore, connecting to power banks, converters, and the wider electrical grid. But these electrified cables could have odd and unexpected effects on seafloor life. >click to read<08:43

An example of activism, and how to get your point across

A freelance writer Frederick Hewett, from Cambridge Ma wrote a piece about the wonderful wind advantage the Bay State has, Massachusetts Could Win Big In Offshore Wind Energy. The article was posted on the WBUR website, licensed by the Trustees of Boston University. The piece describes what the wind industry repeats continuously, that its just Utopia! Barbara Durkin, a citizen that is opposed to wind energy for all the right reasons commented on the article, and with every comment included information to back up her claims. As fishermen are opposed to offshore wind, offshore drilling, and the emotional issue of the right whale, it is a lesson on how to get your point across with dignity, and knowledge. >click to read< Her tag line on twitter is, “Show me the evidence that wind energy works….still waiting” Follow her on twitter>click here<14:35

Offshore Wind Fiasco: Renewables Industry Faces $Billions In Compensation For Early Repairs

Ørsted must repair up to 2,000 wind turbine blades because the leading edge of the blades have become worn down after just a few years at sea. The company has a total of 646 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa, which may potentially be affected to some extent, Ørsted confirmed. The wind turbine owner will not disclose the bill, but says that the financial significance is “small”. However, it is far from just the Anholt Park that is affected. The blades at several British Ørsted offshore wind farms must also be repaired after just a few years on the water. >click to read<12:12

Offshore Wind Technology Failure – Offshore wind is not all its cracked up to be!

Massachusetts’ ambitious goal to deploy offshore wind is supported by a 2016 Massachusetts state law that requires state utilities to purchase this power. This developer-friendly law exposes tax and ratepayers to triple current energy cost after public subsidies equal to 65 percent of project cost. The public now assumes the lion’s share of economic risks, while wind developers’ “skin in the game,” is as little as 10 percent. The United States has adopted the United Kindom’s offshore wind turbine design code. Massachusetts lawmakers wrongly assume that offshore wind is a reliable energy source. Per a landmark judgment issued by the U.K. Supreme Court in July 2017, there is fundamental failure in the offshore wind industry standard design code (J101). Barbara Durkin

Landmark Case Changes Offshore Wind Legal Landscape – >click here to read< 14:45

Avangrid Pursuing Huge Offshore & Onshore Wind Projects In US

Avangrid Renewables is pursuing two new wind projects, one off the coast of Massachusetts and another in the heart of New Mexico. It is working with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on a bid to build an offshore wind farm in waters off the coast of Massachusetts. That partnership is known as Vineyard Wind.,, Two other partnerships have submitted bids to the state of Massachusetts, which plans to have up to 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore power in place by 2027. click here to read the story 11:26

Winds of worry: US fishermen fear forests of power turbines

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the onetime whaling capital made famous in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” fishermen dread the possibility of navigating a forest of turbines as they make their way to the fishing grounds that have made it the nation’s most lucrative fishing port for 17 years running. The state envisions hundreds of wind turbines spinning off the city’s shores in about a decade, enough to power more than 1 million homes.,, “Fishermen are losing ground one a nibble at a time,” said Joseph Gilbert, a Stonington, Connecticut fisherman who owns boats that range from Virginia to Maine. click here to read the story 12:30

EMF (Electromagnetic Field) Effects and the Precautionary Principle – Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

The following is taken from an OSPAR Commission (https://www.ospar.org/) report from 2008. It clearly shows that at the time when interest in offshore wind turbines was really starting to grow there was very little knowledge of, nor had much significant research been done on, the effects of electromagnetic fields on marine or estuarine species, and what little had been done was on mature organisms, with little or no attention given to immature stages. Background Document on potential problems associated with power cables other than those for oil and gas activities: Conclusions in regard to electromagnetic fields Our current knowledge about effects of electromagnetic fields on the marine environment, in particular fauna, is not sufficient. Only a few preliminary conclusions can be reached. click here to read the article 17:07

Offshore wind farm could make vital Fife fishing ground a no-go zone

Eight turbines up to 800ft high may be built off the coast of Methil, in an area of rich pickings for fishermen from both sides of the Firth of Forth. Although the Forthwind developers insist fishing could continue around some of the massive structures those in the industry say it would become a no-go zone. Tom Mackenzie, manager of the Fishermen’s Mutual Association (Pittenweem), said: “It would be too dangerous to fish there. click here to read the story 07:49

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