OCEAN CITY, Md. – Offshore wind turbines would bring renewable energy and a lot of jobs to Ocean City, but opponents of the technology say that it would also ruin a beautiful view forever.
“I’m extremely upset, the view is going to be horrible, they’ve shown simulations of the windmills, and I enjoy coming to the beach as most people do for the view,” Terri McIntyre, a resident of Ocean City, said.
On Saturday, hundreds of homeowners, residents, and Ocean City visitors packed into the Ocean City Convention Center to make their voices heard about 800-foot offshore wind turbines potentially being built along the resort town’s shoreline.
“I do yoga on the beach, I go out there and play with my dog, look for the dolphins, and this is going to be pollution, it’s horrible,” McIntyre said.
The turbines , which would be installed by two companies, U.S. Wind and Orsted, would bring renewable energy to the resort town. But that’s a cost that some aren’t willing to pay.
“How many times do you go and away and you pay more money for an ocean view room? Would you pay more money to look at a bunch of wind turbines? I certainly wouldn’t,” McIntyre said.
Representatives from Orsted were at Saturday’s meeting and say that an obstructed view won’t really be a concern.
“On the clearest day, you saw from our renderings, that they will be barely visible on the horizon,” Joy Weber, Development Manager for Orsted, said.
Weber says that with the turbines, the good outweighs the bad.
“Everyone will benefit from the fact that renewable energy is being fed into the grid on the Eastern Shore here and on the Delmarva peninsula,” she said.
And that’s an attitude that some visitors and residents in Ocean City echo.
“As someone who was born and raised on the Eastern Shore, my family has roots in this area for decades, and someone who is one of the future generations that has been talked about a lot, I’m very supportive of offshore wind,” Jared Schablein said.
And they add that despite any concerns about a ruined view, the economic benefits of the project are welcomed here.
“We should be saying the Eastern Shore is a perfect place to come set up shop, come to Wicomico, come to Worcester, come to Somerset County, bring your good paying jobs here,” Schablein said.
These turbines were previously approved, but Saturday’s meeting was held by the Maryland Public Service Commission to determine if further restrictions should be placed on the construction of the turbines.
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