In contrast to some rosy assertions regarding the offshore wind projects, consider the visible impact of the project coming off of Long Beach Island and the one coming off Atlantic City.
The leased area for LBI wind project starts 9 miles out. The wind company intends to use the best turbines available, which means very large ones in the 12-to-14-megawatt range. No shore community elsewhere that I can find is facing that combination of very large turbine size and closeness to shore. I think it will have a dramatic visible effect and be a great aesthetic loss for the Island.
Someone proposed using moderate sized turbines and placing them 15 miles out, but it was rejected.
So the only recourse is to reconsider the lease area itself, and trade it for areas 27 miles out and beyond previously recommended for wind energy development by the federal agency in charge, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. There turbine visibility would not be an issue and the wind project could use the larger size turbines.
Such a change in the area would cause a project delay but is in the long-term interest of both the Island and the wind developers regarding future projects.
The island’s visual loss might be great, so it would be prudent to slow down the project and take a hard look at all the options.
I have a degree in aeronautical engineering and previously managed an office in the U.S. Department of Energy dealing with energy and environmental issues.
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