Tag Archives: offshore wind farm

Mystic Aquarium (the Whale People) expands offshore wind exhibit with youth in mind

In light of New London’s growing offshore wind industry, the Mystic Aquarium expanded its Renewable Ocean Energy Exhibit to educate the region on protective ocean wildlife methods this week. The expansion is in collaboration with Ørsted and Eversource, two developers of Connecticut’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. The offshore wind projects are expected to power up to 70,000 homes on Long Island when completed. The two companies gave the aquarium two grants totaling $1.25 million to study the effects of wind turbines on marine mammals and sea turtles. more, >>click to read<< 12:21

Sorting out the details of offshore wind compensation plans

Owners of commercial fishing vessels or permits can now sign up for compensation to cover economic losses attributed to the region’s offshore wind installations. Millions in funds are available, but the process can be complicated. Vineyard Wind entered an agreement with Massachusetts in 2020, establishing a $19 million fund to compensate affected fishermen and shoreside businesses that provide goods or services to the fishing industry. But we’ve got the processes explained in simple terms, with step-by-step graphics on the two projects currently underway — Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind. As for captains and crew, the owners and operators are “strongly encouraged to share annual compensation payments” with them, but the program does not require it. more, >>click to read<< 09:01

‘A lot of people are upset.’ Vineyard Wind compensation offer for fishermen stirs worries

Commercial fishers who are sharing part of their customary fishing waters with Vineyard Wind may be eligible for compensation through the developers Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Program. Eric Hesse, chairman of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance board, said most of the fishing in the lease area is by dragging. The sandy bottom there is a habitat for fluke, or summer flounder, one of the most important commercial and recreational flatfishes, according to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. It’s also habitat for longfin squid, skates and monkfish, as well as a fishing area for scallops, sea clams and ocean quahog. But pelagic fish, like tuna — which he fishes for — also migrate through the area. “Who knows how that fishery may be affected,” he said. “It’s a sticky thing and a lot of people are upset.” more, >>click to read<< 07:06

Biden administration sued over Virginia offshore wind farm approval

A conservative think tank on Monday sued the Biden administration in an effort to reverse approval of what would be the largest offshore wind farm of its kind. The Heartland Institute filed the suit with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a nonprofit that advocates for an economically libertarian approach to environmental action and has denied the existence of human-caused climate change. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to reverse the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) approval of Dominion Energy’s 176-turbine wind project offshore Virginia. more, >>click to read<< 08:30

Island Fishermen Unlikely to Benefit from Vineyard Wind Fund

A program aimed at compensating fishermen for lost revenues during the construction and operation of the first offshore wind farm south of the Vineyard will not benefit Island-based fishermen, according to a representative from the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust. But according to Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust president John Keene, the restrictive requirements to qualify for the fund will leave local fishermen in the lurch. Mr. Keene also noted that money from the fund will go to vessel owner/operators, who are not obligated to distribute funds to their crew. Island fishermen who crew for New Bedford-based vessels as part of the season, therefore, might also be left out of the compensation, even if they work on ships in the lease area. more, >>click to read<< 12:07

Location of Offshore Wind Zone Doesn’t ‘Pass the Pub Test’

While industry is moving full steam ahead with plans for offshore wind development off Port Stephens, the local fishing community still hold grave concerns over the suitability of the location. The recent Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fish Club (NPSGFC) Garmin Billfish Shootout, an annual fishing contest held off the coast in areas potentially impacted by future offshore wind development, brought the issue into focus once more. The Game Fish Club’s President, Troy Radford, said the location of the Hunter offshore wind zone, which starts about 20 kilometres out to sea from the Port Stephens coast, does not “pass the pub test”. “If this was going on in the Great Barrier Reef would this be going on? more, >>click to read<< 09:39

‘We cannot fish in a wind farm’: Local fishermen file lawsuit over offshore wind project

Many people in Morro Bay have mixed feelings about a planned offshore wind project. Now, a lawsuit has been filed. The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization and the Port San Luis Commercial Fisherman’s Association claim some rules and regulations related to the project have not been followed. The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization was incorporated in 1972 and has around 100 members. “We’ve been here for a while and we’ve got an incredibly good reputation in all of those years, and we are very proud of it,” said Jeremiah O’Brien, Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization Vice President. more, >>click to read<< 06:52

Final Incidental Take Regulations for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial (CVOW-C) Project, Offshore Virginia

On Monday, January 22, 2024, NOAA Fisheries published the final incidental take regulations related to Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial (CVOW-C) Project. The effective dates for these regulations are February 5, 2024 through February 4, 2029. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, these regulations will govern the “take” of small numbers of marine mammals exposed to elevated underwater noise generated by the project’s activities over a five-year period. NOAA Fisheries has determined the take that may be authorized under the final rule will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species and stocks. more, >>click to read<< 14:50

Contorting The Approval Process’: Biden Waived Taxpayer Safeguards To Get Wind Farm Built

A Massachusetts wind project, which recently became the first utility-scale offshore wind project to deliver electricity to the grid, wouldn’t have been financially viable if the Biden administration hadn’t intervened, according to internal documents reviewed by Fox News Digital. Federal officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) acknowledged in the unearthed communications shared with Fox News Digital that granting a waiver on development fees designed to safeguard taxpayers was “critical” for the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project. [emphasis, links added] BOEM ultimately waived the financial assurance for the decommissioning costs fee for the project in June 2021. “The more we dig into the details of the Vineyard Wind project the more concerning it becomes. more, >>click to read<<  11:48

Australia: Anti-offshore wind farm fishing group is chaired by a former Liberal MP

A fishing industry group that has become one of the most vocal critics of offshore wind farm plans is chaired by a former Liberal politician who claims that the turbines threaten Australia’s national security by providing places for foreign submarines to hide. Offshore wind farms proposed for near the Illawarra region andOffshore wind farms Port Stephens have become a hot-button issue with the emergence of anti-wind farm organising. One of the major existing groups that have come out in opposition to the plans is the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Fishing groups have opposed the offshore wind farm plans out of fear that the projects would hurt both commercial and recreational fishers. But AFTA was not one of the groups that made submissions during the consultation process between February and April this year. more, >>click to read<< 08:29

Nantucket’s Rich Are Losing the Battle to Keep Wind Power Out of Their Backyards

A newly erected wind turbine off the coast of the pristine sandy beaches of Nantucket rises about 850 feet from the ocean surface, higher than any building in Boston, spinning blades about 350 feet long. It’s a marvel of human ingenuity, a shot at a carbon-free future — and the scourge of wealthy denizens of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. A raft of lawsuits from residents and fishing industry groups have complained about everything from obstructed views to marine life hazards and disruptions to whales. But the energy company Avangrid completed the first of 62 giant wind turbines last month, promising enough juice to power more than 400,000 homes and business in Massachusetts. >>click to read<< 10:51

House Republicans rebuff move by Golden to block offshore wind in Gulf of Maine lobster area

Majority Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an attempt by Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, to use federal spending to block offshore wind development in a lobster fishing area of the Gulf of Maine. Golden, who tried to amend 2024 appropriations legislation for the Department of Interior, said he will try again to bar offshore wind development in what’s known as Lobster Management Area 1. His measure sought to prevent funding to lease, license, permit or provide any authorization to develop offshore wind energy that could jeopardize lobster fishing. “Offshore wind development in the Gulf’s most productive fishing grounds is a threat to Maine fishermen’s way of life,”>>click to read<< 07:28

New Jersey reacts to Ørsted Ocean Wind cancellation shocker

The aftermath is still unfolding Wednesday afternoon — and causing a lot of questions, drama and uncertainty in the state. It all comes against the backdrop of next week’s legislative elections (with offshore wind a central campaign issue in many races), when all 120 seats are up for grabs.Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders all responded with strongly worded statements and reactions, which came ripping through email boxes and across social media accounts in the evening hours on Halloween, which you can read more about here. That continued Wednesday — especially from Republican lawmakers and leaders, who have long questioned the feasibility of offshore wind as well as its potential impacts, leaning into the issue heavily on the campaign trail. >>click to read<< 17:20

Biden approves largest offshore wind project in US history

Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project is located 23.5 nautical miles off Virginia Beach and marks the fifth such offshore wind plan under the Biden administration, which has come under fire from environmentalists for also greenlighting several new major fossil fuel leases. The approval comes on the heels of an announcement last month the administration would auction three new oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering a furious reaction from environmental groups who said the move would accelerate climate change. The approval comes on the heels of an announcement last month the administration would auction three new oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering a furious reaction from environmental groups who said the move would accelerate climate change. >>click to read<< 15:51

Gillespie calls for Labor to abandon Offshore Wind Farm

Federal Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has addressed Parliament, speaking out against the Offshore Wind farm proposed off the coast of his electorate. In July the federal government declared a wind farm zone covering more than 1800 square kilometres from Swansea in the south to Port Stephens in the north Dr Gillespie recently attended and addressed an anti-wind farm rally in Port Stephens attended by nearly 2,000 people. “These trillion dollar-plus energy plans by Labor, Greens and Teal Independents is something we simply cannot afford,” Dr Gillespie told Parliament “I can assure all of the people who have expressed their concerns about this project that I am absolutely opposed to this development which will have a significant negative impact on our region and the people of Australia. Feasibility studies and the eventual project will detrimentally impact whale and dolphin acoustics, migration and pod behaviour, and marine bird life will suffer like it does from land-based wind farms. Dr Gillespie said there would be enormous financial cost on the $1bn local commercial fishing industry, commercial freighters, blue water and the tourism economy. >>click to read<< 20:52

Maine Lobstermen Win Giant Carveout From Offshore Wind Development Area

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is rolling out designated offshore wind leasing areas off the lower 48 states at a rapid clip, racing to meet the Biden administration’s target of 30 gigawatts of capacity by 2030. For the latest – a 3.5 million acre parcel in the Gulf of Maine – it has decided to dodge a looming fight with fishing and environmental interests.  The newly-released Draft Wind Energy Area for the Gulf of Maine has enough room for up to 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, with a focus on floating wind installations in deeper water. The size is notable, but the most conspicuous part is the part that was left out: Lobster Management Area 1, a strip along the coast that is essential to the powerful Maine lobster industry. >>click to read<< 09:08

Another legal challenge to NJ offshore wind farm project

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, commercial fishing and tourism interests and a conservation group joined Cape May County in accusing federal agencies of ignoring and violating laws designed to protect the environment and marine life. The dispute is the latest that threatens to delay the project, which also faces stiff financial challenges that have led officials from Ørsted, a Danish company, to consider pulling out of building the 98-turbine project. Ørsted’s Ocean Wind I, a 1,100-megawatt project about 15 miles offshore from Atlantic City, is entangled in assorted court battles. Orsted has sued Cape May County and Ocean City over delays in obtaining permits while the state faces challenges over its approval of the project from local groups. >>click to read<< 07:09

Massachusetts wind farm dodges lawsuits over environmental, fishing concerns

A U.S. judge has rejected challenges to federal environmental permits and construction approvals for a $4 billion offshore wind farm near Massachusetts, which commercial fishing groups have claimed will harm whales and impair their businesses. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston on Thursday tossed the final two federal district court lawsuits directly challenging the Vineyard Wind project roughly 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, which would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the country. Representatives for the plaintiffs and the Army Corps didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday. The Interior Department, which oversees BOEM, declined to comment. >>click to read<< 09:11

CT, RI wind farm gets federal decision on environmental plan

One of Connecticut’s first two wind farms reached a major milestone on Tuesday, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy issuing a “record of decision” in the environmental review process for Revolution Wind, a prerequisite clearing the way for construction in the coming weeks. Revolution Wind will be located 15 miles off Point Judith, R.I., with partners Orsted and Eversource planning to sell the electricity generated by wind turbines to Connecticut and Rhode Island. That construction activity includes crews conducting multiple test pits near along the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown, R.I., and at the substation where power from the wind farm will be brought ashore, and then converted for use on the regional electric grid. >click to read< 16:06

Save Right Whale Coalition Sickened Over Government Response to Deaths of Whales in NY, NJ

New York and New Jersey are witnessing an alarming increase in whale deaths, with 23 known fatalities in less than a year, sparking concerns and anger among environmental activists and political figures. Critics of offshore wind farm developments, including David Shanker, the New Jersey Spokesperson for Save Right Whales Coalition, are attributing the tragic deaths to sonar blasting activities related to wind turbine construction. A coalition of political figures including Representative Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Representative Jeff Smith (NJ), the Commissioners of Cape May County, and 50 Coastal Mayors have asked President Biden and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for a moratorium on the sonar blasting to investigate the cause of the whale deaths. However, their pleas have so far been met with silence, even as the Save Right Whale Coalition prepares to release a documentary with evidence linking sonar testing vessels to whale deaths. >click to read< 07:46

Food Fight: Offshore Wind a Risk to Cultural Fabric, Fishing Industry of LBI

Discussions about the impact of wind farms planned off the coast of New Jersey have been in the broad sense recently, but last week two commercial fishermen brought it home to Long Beach Island. “Our lives are on the line. We wonder whether we are going to pay our bills,” said Kirk O. Larson, who has spent more than five decades on the water as a commercial fisherman, while serving as Barnegat Light mayor for more than 30 years. “It’s not for lack of product. It’s for the brashness of these people from Europe to just come in and push us around, buy up all our fishery services people, who are quitting their jobs to go work for offshore wind companies. They are taking the best of the best.” >click to read< 12:32

Orsted hit with lawsuit over ‘$1bn unconstitutional giveaway’ for giant US offshore wind farm

Orsted’s gigascale Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind project is under threat from a lawsuit filed by opponents in the US state of New Jersey who claim the proposal has benefited from an “unconstitutional $1bn giveaway”. Legal counsel for opposition groups Protect Our Coast NJ and Defend Brigantine Beach said they filed the suit in the state’s Superior Court last week. Orsted’s gigascale Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind project is under threat from a lawsuit filed by opponents in the US state of New Jersey who claim the proposal has benefited from an “unconstitutional $1bn giveaway”. >click to read< 11:21

Proposal before Maine lawmakers would jumpstart offshore wind projects

Maine is poised to launch an offshore wind program that would meet clean energy goals and produce enough power for about 900,000 homes from floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine. The bill was revised after a veto by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills to ensure non-union companies can get into the business, setting a path to approval by the Maine Senate and House on Tuesday. Approval would put Maine on a path to catch up with other states that already have offshore wind projects. It also includes incentives aimed at ensuring wind power developers steer clear of lucrative lobster fishing grounds. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Lawrence, D-York, said he believes the compromise bill has necessary “guardrails in place to make sure this is done right and truly benefits Mainers.” >click to read< 11:23

Cost of being first in offshore wind is growing for New Jersey

New Jersey wasn’t the first East Coast state to commit to developing its major untapped clean energy resource, offshore wind power generation. But Gov. Phil Murphy and state Democrats have used their control of state government to spend whatever it takes to make New Jersey and its ratepayers the earliest adopters of offshore wind in the United States. Even though Europe’s mature offshore wind industry was capable of producing electricity at a cost competitive to natural gas powered generating plants, the early U.S. wind farms were always going to be more expensive. A North American offshore wind industry needed to be developed first. Now the bills for early adoption of offshore wind are starting to come in, and they are substantial. >click to read< 10:03

Long Beach council tells Hochul it is ‘fervently opposed’ to wind project

The City of Long Beach is “fervently opposed” to the Empire Wind 2 project that proposes a high-voltage power line through its streets and turbines visible from shore, city officials said in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul this week. The Monday letter, signed by all five city council members, including president John Bendo, outlined four primary reasons the city stands in “firm opposition” to the project, which Norway-based Equinor proposes to have in service before the end of the decade. Equinor, in a statement, said it was “disappointed” by the letter,,, A spokesman for Hochul’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. John McNally, a spokesman for the city, said the council was “resolute” in its opposition to the project, and that the letter “speaks for itself.” >click to read< 09:29

RI Energy rejects plan for nearly 1000MW offshore wind project

Rhode Island Energy, formerly known as National Grid Rhode Island, announced Tuesday it’s ending a long-term power purchase agreement proposal with offshore wind companies Orsted and Eversource. The plan would have allowed the energy group to move forward with a plan to create 600 to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation as part of a project dubbed Revolution Wind 2. “The economic development benefits included in the proposal were weighted and valued appropriately by our evaluation team, but ultimately it was determined those features did not outweigh the affordability concerns and other [state law] standards,” Rhode Island Energy president Dave Bonenberger said in a statement. >click to read< 16:38

Rhode Island puts pause on key part of offshore wind project

State regulators have hit the pause button on permitting for a transmission line that would run up the Sakonnet River from SouthCoast Wind’s large offshore wind farm proposed in ocean waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board voted unanimously on Thursday to stay the application process for the cable that SouthCoast Wind needs to deliver electricity to the mainland grid from its proposed $5-billion project that would power more than a million homes. The three-member board made the decision in response to the company’s decision to terminate a set of long-term contracts it signed to sell power to Massachusetts utilities. >click to read< 10:21

Ocean City calls wind power plans ‘a crazy gamble’

With a wind power project proposed off the beach taking a big step forward this week, Mayor Jay Gillian on Thursday criticized the approval process and called offshore energy production “a crazy gamble.” City officials have expressed skepticism about the Ocean Wind 1 project since its proposal, but at the City Council meeting, Gillian went farther than usual, offering a blunt assessment of the project, describing the approval process as rushed and suggesting most of the benefits would flow to a foreign company. Gov. Phil Murphy and company representatives celebrated the approval Wednesday. But the reaction was far different in Ocean City. “Despite the thousands of pages of paper masquerading as a complete review of the project’s impact, we still have absolutely no idea what this will cost the state’s taxpayers and ratepayers, and what benefits we might see in return,” >click to read< 10:58

State engineer accuses SouthCoast Wind of lying to RI agencies. What the email says.

David Ciochetto, an ocean engineer with the state Coastal Resources Management Council, said the joint venture between Shell and Ocean Winds made false statements about its offshore wind project in written testimony to the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board before a hearing last month. In an email to the coordinator of the siting board, Ciochetto said that, contrary to what SouthCoast Wind testified, an application that the company filed with the CRMC is incomplete and not under review. In addition, said Ciochetto, the company misrepresented the status of communications with a fishing board that advises the coastal council on the impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fishermen. SouthCoast Wind has not met with the Fisherman’s Advisory Board or experts that work with the board, said Ciochetto, who argued that the misleading statements are part of a larger pattern with the company. >click to read< 08:25

NJ’s other wind farm developer wants government breaks, too.

A company approved to build New Jersey’s third offshore wind farm says it, too, wants government financial incentives, saying its project and the jobs it would create are “at risk” without the additional help. Atlantic Shores issued a statement Friday, shortly after New Jersey lawmakers approved a tax break for Danish wind developer Orsted, which has approval to build two wind farms off the state’s coast. Elaborating on Monday, the Atlantic City-based Atlantic Shores said it has contacted the offices of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and leaders of the state Senate and Assembly, saying it seeks a “solution that stabilizes all awarded projects.” Atlantic Shores did not say precisely what sort of assistance it wants, and refused to publicly clarify its request, or discuss the likelihood of being able to complete the project with its current financing. Video, >click to read< 14:38