- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Plenty of questions remain about impact of wind turbines off South Carolina coast

I read your editorial in The Sun News on Sept. 27 on offshore wind turbines and would like to offer our viewpoint.

First, the Town of Pawleys Island’s Resolution you referred to was passed in November of 2014 and specifically supported the efforts of North Myrtle Beach in its efforts to solicit wind turbines off of its shoreline. We continue to support those efforts.

Second, there was a meeting of the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management South Carolina Task Force (of which I am a member) on Sept. 9 in Litchfield Beach. At this meeting a new map of proposed South Carolina Call Areas was unveiled to those in attendance. (Call Areas are the areas to potentially be sold to those interested in installing offshore wind turbines.)

The proposed new call area parallels our coast from the North Carolina line to just north of Winyah Bay off Georgetown. The area is 3 miles offshore to 30 miles offshore, and is one large area not four areas as indicated in your editorial. With the exception of one block about 3 nautical miles in length off of Murrells Inlet, all of these call areas begin 3 nautical miles off shore, not 6 nautical miles as stated in your editorial.

Third, wind turbines are around 260 feet tall (21 stories) plus the length of the rotor blades (9 more stories), and can contain a helicopter landing pad on the top of the structure. The negative impact of 50 to 130 of these turbines 3 or 6 or even 12 miles off shore of Pawleys Island and the Waccamaw Neck would be significant.

The writer is mayor of Pawleys Island