Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Little Lasting Environmental Impact from the Cape Wind Proposal

Concerns have been raised about the uncertain regulatory envrionment for offshore wind projects. Since the federal government has never reviewed an offshore wind proposal, how long would it take to formulate guidelines, let alone actually offer findings?
Not so long, as it turns out. The Boston Globe
has the story:

The nation's first proposed offshore wind-energy project cleared its most formidable hurdle yesterday as the US Minerals Management Service declared that the wind farm off Cape Cod would have little lasting impact on wildlife, navigation, and tourism.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement finds that the impacts of the proposal to be mostly "negligible" or "minor," with an occassional "moderate" thrown in. In no particular, did the MMS find that the project would have a "major" impact. Volume I of the report runs to 712 pages and covers 120 categories of potential impact during construction and operation of the wind farm. The Cape Wind project is similar in scale to the Bluewater Wind proposal, with 130 turbines instead of 150. As for those who worry about the lifespan of the equipment in the open water, the report points out (on page E-2) that turbines might last longer than comparable land based equipment:

The wind turbine generators have a stated design life span of twenty years. However, this estimate is based on experience generated from land-based machines which are subject to higher levels of turbulence and arguably experience greater wear and tear than can be expected offshore where winds are less turbulent. It is possible that the proposed action could be operational beyond the minimum design life of twenty years.

By the way, Mitt Romney opposed the project while he was still governor of Massachusetts.
The MMS is accepting public comments through March 20 and is expected to issue a final decision on the project by early next year.

8 Comments:

Anonymous kavips said...

Proving once again that Charlie Copeland, Harris McDowell, Thurman Adams, Helene Keeley, Tony DeLuca, Patty Blevins, Dick Cathcart, Robert Gilligan, Lian Sorenson, and Terry Spence have firmly entrenched themselves on the wrong side of the issue.

Anyone living in their districts needs to call them up now and voice their disgust.

If anyone or two of these members change their minds, and they should once they know YOU KNOW THEY ARE WRONG, we get wind...........

2:20 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Your list of legislators includes some in each of three categories: for, against and don't know yet.

2:35 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

Your premise is based on what they say. Mine is based on what they do.

It's time to separate the sheep from the goats......

8:35 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Actually, I am paying attention to what at least some are doing, but can't say more just now.

Stay tuned.

9:05 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous jj said...

This is great news. Timmy Thanks for devoting so much time to this topic.
I hope our leaders in Dover can get their act togather Tommy, what can we do to help. My fear is that as time goes by it will fall in to the black hole in Dover I mean th black hole in Space.

9:41 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous TomaHawk said...

How about a probable positive environmental benefit? Will the foundations of 150 towers provide shelter for small prey fish that would increase the number of game fish? Algea on the foundations attract the non-carnivors? Would the increased fish population increase the number of recreational fishermen using Delaware head boats and helping to pay for the new boat licenses? Would the possible increase in recreational fishermen provide addtional sales of local services like food and gasoline?

11:13 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

Answer to Tomahawk:

Yes.

11:41 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

(Just as an aside, those serving upon the legislative committee who are in favor of wind, need to speak up loudly, before they get devastated with friendly fire.

We can ill afford a blue on blue incident.)

1:57 AM, January 16, 2008  

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