More than 60 commercial fishermen and their supporters testified Tuesday in favor of a bill that would block any attempt to develop offshore wind projects anywhere along the Maine coast. The bill would prohibit any state agency from permitting or approving any offshore wind energy project regardless of its location. It was introduced by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor, a commercial fisherman, and co-sponsored by eight other Republican lawmakers.
OPPD’s hoped-for solar farm near Yutan is headed to the Saunders County Board with a strike against it. On Monday evening, after two hours of public testimony, the Saunders County Planning Commission voted 5-1 against a conditional-use permit for the project. Commissioner Jake Mayer was the sole supportive vote. The County Board, which isn’t bound by the Planning Commission’s vote, is scheduled to take up the issue May 11.
Some state regulators have begun rethinking their wind and solar strategies to push projects away from undeveloped areas. But they acknowledge more conflicts are inevitable as the industry grows, and many states still lack a clear picture of the land use that will be required to meet their renewable energy goals. In Massachusetts, 150,000 acres could be lost to renewable energy development as the state seeks to meet its climate targets, according to a 2020 report from Mass Audubon, a conservation nonprofit. Between 2012 and 2017, the group found that solar projects accounted for a quarter of the natural lands that were converted to development. In response to those concerns, Massachusetts leaders are seeking to reduce state incentives for building solar projects on ecologically sensitive lands.
Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said she felt blindsided by the announcement and that there has been minimal communication between Equinor and fishermen. “Why didn’t this process start more organically from the beginning, in a way that actively includes fisherman, so that no one is ultimately put out of business or put into a scenario where they lose traditional historical fishing grounds that are sustainably fished and have been,” she said.
In official comments to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) submitted July 30, 2018, New York suggested the wind turbines be no closer than 20 miles from shore. This recommendation was based upon an earlier study by BOEM that concluded that 600-foot-high turbines produced a “dominate impact “on the beach view 15 miles offshore. Adjusting for the new 50% taller turbines, the suggested distance from the shore should be 30 miles. In Europe, the closest lease area for these jumbo turbines is 44 miles out. The New York decision begs the question of why lease areas from Maryland to Massachusetts aren’t being rejected on the same merits.
LIPA argues that ratepayers statewide will benefit from the grid upgrades on Long Island and in New York City, so the costs should be shared equally across the state. But the state Public Service Commission says the lion's share of the cost should be borne by ratepayers in the "energy-congested" regions such as Long Island and New York City that are receiving the upgrade and who it says will benefit more from higher-capacity power lines and other enhancements.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Sprawling wind farms located off the coast. Hydropower transmission lines that cut through some of America’s most beloved forests and rivers. Solar megaprojects of unprecedented size.
In November 2019, the Financial Times warned the 2020 wind farm programme could be compromised by balsa shortages precipitated by a poor growing season. Balsa prices had already doubled by the time the story warned of shortages. ...last August, a shipment of illegally harvested balsa destined for China was seized by Peruvian authorities in the port of Callao, Lima. About a week later, another shipment was intercepted at a highway control post in Churubamba, Huanuco. ...Wood Mackenzie analysts are forecasting a global turbine supply chain worth $600 billion (£432bn) this decade. “In the short term, it seems very possible that at least some of our clean energy will be powered by illegally harvested timber,” warns Timbercheck.
At his international climate summit last week, President Joe Biden vowed to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The goal will require sweeping changes in the power generation, transportation and manufacturing sectors. It will also require a tremendous amount of land.
The wind energy sector in the U.S. shattered records in 2020, recording its biggest year yet in terms of new capacity added to the grid.
OSWEGO — A resolution laying out proposed points to be included in an agreement with RWE Renewables wind energy company was brought to the table by Labette County Commissioner Cole Proehl on Friday and approved in a 2-1 vote.
A local couple have remained busy in their effort to derail a plan to construct wind turbines on Dan’s Mountain. Harwood subdivision residents Darlene and William Park, with the support of numerous neighbors, have been engaged in a legal battle against Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC. Their efforts have led to the project being stalled as they battle it in two courts.
The Danish wind power firm Ørsted has warned that up to 10 of its giant offshore windfarms around the UK and Europe will need urgent repairs because their subsea cables have been eroded by rocks on the seabed. ...Ørsted has found that the rocks placed at the base of the wind turbine foundations to prevent the erosion of the seabed were responsible for wearing down the cable protection system which, in a worst case scenario, could cause the cables to fail.
In a joint letter to Scottish Government ministers with responsibility for transport, electricity transmission, rural economy and tourism, South Knapdale and Tarbert and Skipness community councils joined forces with their five Kintyre equivalents to express concern at the pace and size of wind farm developments on valuable landscapes. They also claim some windfarm developers have recently ignored Scottish Government advice on providing community benefits – cash for local organisations – and shared community ownership.
Leading offshore wind developer Ørsted has suggested that a scour protection method which left the inter-array cables unstabilised could be the potential reason for an up to DKK 3 billion (EUR 403 million) issue across up to ten wind farms in Europe. As reported earlier, Ørsted first became aware of the problem earlier this year during an inspection after an outage at the Race Bank wind farm offshore the UK.
The company identified a total of 10 projects in the U.K. and Europe that used the same design that may need to be remedied. Some projects will be easy to fix. The company can just dump more rocks on top of the cables to make them stay in place. ...But in other cases, Orsted will have to repair or replace the cables. That’s the pricey option that will make up the bulk of the cost, Wiinholt said.
“To a large extent we will be able to mitigate it through stabilising the cable protection system. It will be done by dumping rocks on top of the rocks that are already there.” At other wind farms, the cables are so damaged that the company will either need to repair or replace them, which is more expensive than dumping more rocks on top of the existing protection layer.
The Atlantic coast contains some of the most productive fisheries in the world. BOEM is supposed to work with fisheries interests to ensure offshore wind development does not adversely affect habitat and the livelihood of fishermen. In fact, in December of last year, the Department of the Interior issued a detailed memo stating that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act prohibits offshore wind approvals if a project would interfere with fishing. But just a few weeks ago, the administration reversed those findings.
The study analyzes the outage periods documented by ERCOT for 191 wind farm units, with a nominal capacity of 21,888 MW, of which 57% (12,495 MW) is subject to a hedged financial structure. Lost energy production from wind farms, aggregating individual wind farm results, was 629,700 MWh with a financial impact of this lost production, whether the financial loss to the owner or gain by others, estimated at $4.18 billion. This represents an average financial impact on any project of $44.4 million. For hedged projects, the financial impact of this lost proxy production is even greater, with an average financial impact of $45.4 million.
During the protest, Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald Thornton came out to speak to the attendees. He told them that he was opposed to the wind farm and that he, along with his fellow Commissioners who stood outside with him, would approve a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting opposing wind farms. The resolution was unanimously approved.