The informative article in the March 2 issue, “NY Bight Lease for Wind Energy Nets Six Winners,” raises concerns.
One of the six companies, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, already has plans for the “largest single wind project in New Jersey, approximately 10 to 20 miles off the coast between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light.” The project calls for 111 wind turbines, 12 miles off Absecon Inlet and “probably will not be visible to LBI during the summer tourist season.”
“Approximately 10 to 20 miles” and “probably not visible” seems a bit imprecise for Atlantic Shores. It’s a good bet they know the actual numbers.
The turbines will soar 75 stories high. For context, there are less than a dozen water towers along the length of LBI that stand approximately 11 stories.
Also consider the magnitude of this proposal in relation to wind farms currently in service off the entire East Coast. There are five 20-story turbines 4 miles off Block Island and 17 miles off the mainland and two 20-story turbines 25 miles off the coast of Virginia.
Why did Gov. Murphy push so fast for such a sensitive project? Everyone wants to be a climate hero, but what if it’s actually bad for the environment? Would he be so enthusiastic if it were 200 oil rigs 10 miles offshore? Why is it that wind farms planned for Martha’s Vineyard, Kitty Hawk and Montauk are sited 25 miles offshore vs. 10 to 20 miles for the project off New Jersey? Just how far offshore can we be certain that the turbines definitely won’t be visible? How can we be certain that marine and migratory wildlife will not be damaged? Finally, why are environmentalists not more suspicious of this corporate rush to “rescue” New Jersey? Have they never driven on the northern extension of the New Jersey Turnpike?
Bob Stern of “Save LBI” has it right. Let’s slow down and consider the environmental impact of what may forever soil a natural treasure. If we get this wrong there is no way back.
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