On July 17, 2009, a company involved in the development of an off shore wind park named Bluewater Wind made a presentation to the Town of Bethany Beach at a Public Hearing. The presentation outlined a plan that would bring power lines from their proposed wind farm off the Delaware Coast ashore within the corporate limits of Bethany Beach, routing those lines buried several feet under ground through Bethany Beach via Garfield Parkway and Kent Avenue to a local electric substation. Bluewater Wind also discussed the possibility of bringing these power lines ashore at other locations outside of Bethany Beach.
Since that presentation, Bluewater Wind has been acquired by the mega utility provider NRG. The company has been renamed NRG Bluewater Wind and is moving ahead as quickly as possible to obtain the necessary Federal, State and local permitting needed to construct the wind farm and to meet the necessary regulatory requirements that will make the wind park a reality.
Tentatively NRG Bluewater Wind has now identified the Town of Bethany Beach as their preferred location to bring power ashore. At a Public Hearing in February 2011 Bluewater Wind CEO, Peter Mandelstam, outlined a proposed plan that would bring the power lines ashore at the beachfront at Wellington Parkway, run west on Wellington Parkway turning south on Kent Avenue until the line leaves the corporate limits of Bethany Beach.
At the conclusion of the Public Hearing and Mr. Mandlestam’s presentation, the Mayor directed the Town Manager to seek independent expert advice on the possible impact on human health of these power lines and the potential environmental impact they might have.
The Mayor further stated after receiving and publicly reviewing the information provided by these independent experts the Council would make a decision on a future course of action regarding the NRG proposal. In addition, the Mayor publicly directed the Town Manager to ask NRG Bluewater Wind to underwrite any expense the Town might incur in seeking this expert independent advice.
The Town has now formally asked NRG to pay these expenses and any other expenses the Town might incur as it considers this very important issue for our community. To date NRG has failed to agree to pay those expenses. The Bethany Beach Town Council will not consider any further review of the NRG request unless NRG agrees to compensate the Town.
There is a complete video of the Mandlestam presentation and the February Public Hearing on the NRG proposal.
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