Articles filed under Offshore Wind
The US Department of Energy said in its latest offshore wind market report that initial Atlantic coast projects were expected “to rely heavily on international supply chains for major components, installation vessels and engineering design work”. White said the industry had already surpassed all expectations in reducing its costs and a domestic supply chain would eventually flourish. But the industry needed time to develop.
A U.S. fishing group on Monday sued the Biden administration over its approval of the huge Vineyard Wind offshore wind project off the East Coast, saying the government had failed to address industry concerns about its potential safety and environmental impacts.
Warner said he notified the Coast Guard of the devices and said he was told they were unaware of them. A Coast Guard spokesman didn’t immediately respond. DEC spokeswoman Maureen Wren said the agency requires no permits to place the devices in the water. DEC did approve a permit for Stony Brook and Cornell to "collect and possess" fish to be surgically tagged as part of the study, but the DEC was "not involved in the scheduling of the deployment of the arrays," spokeswoman Lori Severino said.
[S]ome fear that this project and others in the planning stage could also irreparably harm Massachusetts fishing and lobstering industries in the vicinity of these turbine sites. But that didn’t stop the Biden administration, as part of its aggressive offshore wind and renewable-energy agenda, from issuing final permits for Vineyard Wind in May. It’s evident that not all green-conscious activists believe wind power’s the optimum clean-energy solution.
Concerns about the fate of the right whale, whose population is dwindling, are not new. The downturn in the whale population is already happening without any wind farms being built, primarily because the whales are being hit by boats or becoming ensnared in fishing nets. Still, officials from 17 prominent environmental groups wrote a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service in September 2020 raising concerns that regulators were failing to protect environmentally endangered mammals, including right whales, in their review of offshore wind projects. It’s unclear whether any changes were made in response to the letter; efforts to reach two of the signers were unsuccessful. Erica Fuller of the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston did not return calls over a two-day period.
The group, Nantucket Residents Against Turbines, says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries failed to ensure that Vineyard Wind would not jeopardize the survival of federally listed critically endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale. The suit also names Interior Secretary Debra Haaland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. "The North Atlantic right whale is on the verge of extinction. However, one of its longtime safe havens – where there is ample food and protective areas for birthing and rearing young – is the area immediately south-southwest of Nantucket Island," the lawsuit reads.
Little is known about the impact offshore wind could have on wildlife. Scientists across the country agree we need to be monitoring its potential impacts, though it’s not consistently studied across the country. “I believe strongly in responsible development of offshore wind. I think it is a key to fighting climate change,” said Jessica Redfern, a senior scientist at the New England Aquarium. “What’s critically important is that it is responsibly developed and to have responsible development, we need to continue monitoring and understanding species numbers, understanding a species that are in the area, how long they’re there.”
Bob Vanasse, who heads the fishing advocacy group Saving Seafood, said Vineyard Wind and other projects proposed in the region could impact a range of significant fisheries, including squid, clams and scallops. “There are a number of groups in various fisheries who have raised concerns about the insufficiency of the planning and review effort,” he said Wednesday. “This group is far from alone in that.” Vineyard Wind also comes years after the infamous Cape Wind project, which failed after bitter litigation from another group that included Nantucket property owners.
The Trustees say that they have demanded that Ørsted delay the cable installation, slated to begin in early 2023, in order to complete a second spring season worth of fish migration surveys. The company has said it will wait to “energize” the cable until after the spring 2023 fishery surveys are conducted, but cannot put off the start of cable installation between the wind farm site south of Block Island and Wainscott. “They were told directly at the time that this would be a deal breaker,” Trustees Clerk Francis Bock said on Monday morning.
“The construction of these turbines is set to take place in a nexus of activity of the North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered baleen whale with a population of fewer than 400 specimens remaining in the world,” the group said in a statement Tuesday. The group also launched a website, ackrats.com, where it said, “We are concerned with the adverse impacts from the increased construction vessel traffic, pile driving, and operational noise on the critically endangered,” whales.
The agency said negative impacts to commercial and recreational fishing would be “major” and found there would be “minor to moderate” beneficial impacts in terms of jobs and investment in the local economy. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the project, released on BOEM’s website Monday, Aug. 16, examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposal to build up to 15 wind turbines and an offshore substation in federal waters about 35 miles off the coast of Montauk. BOEM says in the FEIS that it prefers an alternative proposal to protect habitat by carefully siting just 11 turbines there.
Development of the South Fork Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island would have an overall "major" adverse impact on commercial fishing, according to a newly released federal study. Impacts to commercial fishing include navigational hazards from potential collisions, loss of fishing grounds and impacts from construction and operation, according to a final environmental impact statement released Monday by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Renewable energy supporters want Gov. Chris Sununu to sign an executive order that would lead to more offshore wind development in New Hampshire, as neighboring states forge ahead with similar steps and after a bill on the issue stalled in the state legislature this year. Sununu has lately been a vocal supporter of wind as a climate change solution but hasn’t issued the mandates many other East Coast states have used.
Orsted (ORSTED.CO) and RWE (RWEG.DE), the world's two largest offshore wind players, both suffered from lighter winds in the first half of the year, highlighting how profits in the booming industry remain tied to weather conditions.
In Saint-Brieuc, the French state sacrifices marine biodiversity to the climate
He believes the development would be devastating for migratory bird numbers and wants the development moved away from the entrances to Corner Inlet. "All up, there are about 45 birds that are in some trouble (here)," Mr Collis said. "I don't believe the birds are going to navigate around the wind turbines.
The Brunswick Commissioners extended the usual “not-in-my-backyard” thinking to “not-within-27-miles” Monday, voting to oppose construction of wind turbines within 24 nautical miles (about 27 miles) of the county’s shoreline. Although no wind-energy projects are planned for the area, the federal government has identified three Wind Energy Areas (WEA) off the North Carolina coast as potential sites for turbines, which would harness offshore wind to produce electricity.
The opposition movement began earlier this summer in Bald Head Island. The village council approved a resolution in May that makes it clear any efforts to place wind farms within the island’s viewshed — the territory of ocean in which the turbines could be seen from the beach, or the Old Baldy lighthouse — will be met with a fight. The campaign spread to neighboring coastal towns, with Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach passing similar resolutions in July.
Between December and May, almost a quarter of the right whale population may be present in the region, and the individual residence time for whales has increased to 13 days during the period, the study states. Visual and acoustic monitoring, from flight surveys and photography, showed consistent use of the wind energy area by a third of the species, including 30 per cent of breeding females. The study was funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the federal agency responsible for permitting offshore wind development, as well as the state Clean Energy Center.
Conducted by scientists with NOAA Fisheries, the New England Aquarium and the Center for Coastal Studies using aerial survey data from 2011 through 2019, the study found that 327 unique right whales have been spotted in the waters of southern New England, making the area a crucial habitat for a species teetering on the edge of extinction. Scientists estimate the North Atlantic right whale population at less than 400 total specimens, including approximately 100 breeding females.