Fishermen seek delay in Gulf of Maine offshore wind planning

By Kirk Moore on April 16, 2020

Gulf of Maine fishermen this week asked three New England governors and federal officials for a six-month delay in planning for offshore wind energy development in those waters, as the seafood industry grapples with the upheaval of coronavirus.

In deeper waters of the gulf, wind power will be achieved only with the use of floating turbines. The extensive anchoring and cabling that would be required means “lease areas will become de facto closures to fishing,” the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance wrote in an April 14 ...

“Technology is evolving to minimize the footprint of the base of an offshore wind platform, but current proposed technologies still have mooring lines and flexible cabling that will make any type of fishing – fixed or mobile gear – incredibly unlikely within a wind energy area.” According to the alliance, a coalition of fishermen, coastal communities and related businesses.

Meanwhile, “the fishing industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, forcing the commercial fishing sector to divert time and effort to addressing the current crisis, and leaving insufficient opportunities for engagement in offshore wind siting and other planning,” the alliance said in a news release accompanying the letter. “A six-month pause would not only demonstrate good faith to the fishing industry, but also allow for additional research on offshore wind’s impact on marine ecosystems and better data sharing that will benefit offshore development moving forward.”

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is already in the midst of a pause for permitting the Vineyard Wind offshore energy project in southern New England waters, a decision that took wind developers by surprise when it was announced in August 2019.

Spurred by doubts raised by NMFS’ Greater Atlantic regional office. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt called for a delay in issuing an environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, while BOEM takes a look at both it and the broader, cumulative maritime and environmental impacts of up to 15 wind developments proposed off the East Coast.

BOEM’s work plan now calls for that fact-finding to be completed in June, with analysis and a final impact statement by mid-December. Critics contended the earlier Vineyard Wind studies gave insufficient attention to fisheries impacts.

There are the same gaps in ocean science that need to be addressed before the states and federal government plan for new wind energy areas in the Gulf of Maine, the alliance says.

The Maine Aqua Ventus project, a University of Maine demonstration ...

But wind power has a more favorable political climate now. The Maine Fishermen’s Forum in early March featured for the first t...

In its letter the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance group lays out three additional requests.

The states and BOEM should “convene a fisheries-driven GOM (Gulf of Maine) regional working group to fully participate in the offshore development process,” according to the letter. “Vessels home-ported in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts all fish in the GOM and have unique spatial and operational needs, and complementary understanding of the ecosystem there.

“Fragmenting the region’s fishermen into state groups (which can be entirely arbitrary for those with federal fishing permits) puts too much pressure on them to follow every meeting and engagement opportunity in each state,” the letter explains. “Experience in other regions has indicated that a regional group, convened and led by the industry, will be the only fair and equitable way for commercial fishing concerns to be properly addressed.”

BOEM should not consider any unsolicited lease bids from offshore wind developers because those can “circumvent sufficient and comprehensive engagement with other users, especially fishing communities,” the letter says.

Continue reading here:

https://www.workboat.com/news/offshore/fishermen-seek-delay-in-gulf...

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Comment by arthur qwenk on April 17, 2020 at 8:24pm

GREEN NEW DEAL reported to be the First Death of the Wuhan Flu.

Comment by Penny Gray on April 17, 2020 at 11:07am

It would be interesting to see actual schematics of the proposed anchoring/cabling underwater to keep these machines from floating away.  This will close down the fishing for sure and impact whales as well, I would think, both the underwater cabling and the infrasound.

Comment by Willem Post on April 17, 2020 at 9:17am

First Experimental Floating Wind Turbine in Norway

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/deep-water-floating-off...

 

Equinor (formerly Statoil, a Norwegian government controlled company) launched the world's first operational deep-water, floating large-capacity wind turbine in 2009. The turbine trade name is “Hywind”.

 

The wind turbine consists of a 120 m (390 ft) tall tower, above the sea water level, and a 60 m (195 ft) submerged extension below the sea water level, with a heavy weight at the bottom to keep the wind turbine steady and upright, even with very high waves and strong wind conditions. The design was tested and perfected under storm and wind conditions simulated in a laboratory.

 

The 2.3 MW wind turbine is mounted on top of the tower. It was fully assembled in a deep-water harbor near Stavanger, Norway.

 

It was towed to a site 10 km (6.2 mi) offshore into the Amoy Fjord in 220 m (720 ft) deep water, near Stavanger, Norway, on 9 June 2009, for a two-year test run, which turned out to be successful.

 

First Commercial Floating Wind Turbine Plant in Scotland

 

Hywind Scotland project is the world's first commercial wind turbine plant using floating wind turbines.

 

It is located 29 km (EIGHTEEN MILES) off PeterheadScotland to minimize visual impacts from shore.

It has five Hywind floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW.

It is operated by Hywind (Scotland) Limited, a joint venture of Equinor, Norway (75%) and Masdar, Kuwait (25%).

 

In 2015, Equinor received permission to install 5 Hywind turbines in Scotland.  

 

Manufacturing started in 2016 in Spain (wind turbine, rotor), Norway (tower, underwater base, assembly), and Scotland (various parts)

The turnkey capital cost was $263 million for five 6 MW turbines, or $8,767/kW.

They were designed to float on the surface, with about 180 m (600 ft) above the sea water level and 80 m (265 ft) submerged below the seawater level.

Total steel weight is about 2300 metric ton, total ballasted weight is about 20,000 metric ton.

Heavy weights in the bottom of the submerged parts serve to keep them steady and upright.

 

The turbines were assembled at Stord in Norway in the summer of 2017, using the specialized Saipem 7000 floating crane, and then towed to the north of Scotland by sea-going tugboats.

Make sure to see the videos showing the crane assembling the entire wind turbine.

Nothing like that exists in Maine, or in the rest of New England.

That means offshore wind turbine assembly and servicing would largely be performed by foreign companies, which already have built the infrastructures and other facilities during the past 25 years.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlfvXaISvc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmkA6hbJ_j8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVU7UaMuck

 

The huge, sea-going, specialized, crane (14,000-metric ton lifting capacity) is required for partial assembly on land and final assembly in an area close to shore with a very deep harbor, before towing, fully assembled, to the site.

 

The finished turbines were towed to Peterhead, Scotland.  

Three  cup anchors hold each turbine in place.

About 2400 meter of chain is required, weighing 400 metric ton, for each turbine.

The Hywind Scotland project was commissioned in October 2017.

 

Hywind Wind Turbines for Demonstration Purposes in Maine

 

Hannah Pingree and other Maine's wind bureaucrats in state government are engaging in mindless prattle, eager to do the bidding of various multi-millionaires and foreign companies that may be providing some wining/dining boondoggle trips to “view the Hywind turbines” in Norway and Scotland.

 

The turnkey cost of those two Hywind turbines would be about $10,000 per kW, versus NE ridgeline wind at $2,000/kW, and regular offshore, south of Martha’s Vineyard, at $4,000/kW.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/iso-ne-study-of-1600-mw...

 

That would be at about $120 million for a two 6 MW Hywind wind turbines, plus whatever facilities would need to be built in Maine to support the project.

 

The turnkey capital cost of the wind turbine plant in Maine would be much higher, because Maine does not have the experience of the Norwegians and the specialized equipment and specialized ships, and other facilities. It would be very costly to build those facilities and ships in Maine, or elsewhere.

 

600-ft Tall Hywind Turbines Highly Visible From Mohegan Island, Plus Infrasound

 

The 600-ft tall Hywind wind turbines would be highly visible from Mohegan Island, if they were located TWO MILES east of the island.

 

At that distance, the problem would not be just cyclical, audible noises keeping people awake, but also low frequency infrasound, which can travel many miles, and passes through walls of houses, and can be felt but not heard, and has been shown to have adverse health impacts on people and animals.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-turbine-noise-adve...

 

The FAA-required aviation beacons would be clearly visible during nighttime. BTW, they would need to be located about 15 - 20 miles away from Mohegan Island to be unobtrusive to the Islanders.

 

Here is a research report of daytime and nighttime visibility of wind turbines that are about 3 to 4 MW and about 500 ft tall. See URL with photos.

http://visualimpact.anl.gov/offshorevitd/docs/OffshoreVITD.pdf

 

“Study objectives included identifying the maximum distances the facilities could be seen in both daytime and nighttime views and assessing the effect of distance on visual contrasts associated with the facilities. Results showed that small to moderately sized facilities were visible to the unaided eye at distances greater than 42 km [26 miles (mi)], with turbine blade movement visible up to 39 km (24 mi). At night, aerial hazard navigation lighting was visible at distances greater than 39 km (24 mi). The observed wind facilities were judged to be a major focus of visual attention at distances up to 16 km (10 mi), were noticeable to casual observers at distances of almost 29 km (18 mi), and were visible with extended or concentrated viewing at distances beyond 40 km (25 mi).”

 

One has to feel sorry for all the residents of Mohegan Island, but the bureaucrats in Augusta, Maine, do not care about that, because there are not enough votes to stop them. Those bureaucrats are hell-bent to use federal and state grants, subsidies, taxpayer and ratepayer money of already-struggling Joe and Jane Worker to save the world, and to enrich a host of multi-millionaires seeking tax shelters. See Appendix.

 

Some Questions

 

Who are these Aqua Ventus multi-millionaire owners pushing for this expensive project?

How much would be the subsidies?

What would be the energy cost/kWh?

How long would the project last before it would have to be repaired?

How would it be repaired?

Would any special ships, facilities be required?

Does Maine have the required, at least 100-meter, deep-water port?

Is anyone looking at the entire picture on an A to Z basis, or are Maine bureaucrats just dreaming/prattling about castles in Spain?

Does anyone think the Norwegians would not want to make money to maintain/service and provide spare parts for their Hywind wind turbines?

 

Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates

 

LePage’s energy director, Steven McGrath, has focused exclusively on the cost of electricity from the demonstration project.

 

The rate is at least FOUR TIMES above wholesale market value, reflecting the custom design and experimental nature of the platforms.

 

It would start at 23 cents per kilowatt-hour in the first year, escalating at 2.5% per year to 35 cents after 20 years.

 

The PUC estimates it would add up to $208 million over the term, or about $10.5 million a year from Central Maine Power ratepayers. Maine Aqua Ventus had calculated the extra cost would add 73 cents a month to the average household electric bill, in the first year of operation, more thereafter..

  

That is a total rip-off, because Massachusetts pays only an average of 8 - 9 c/kWh over the life of the project.

Main bureaucrats need to learn from Governor Baker.

 

NOTE: The above prices should be compared with NE wholesale prices, which have been about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, low-cost, low-CO2 electricity from gas at about 5 c/kWh, and low-cost, near CO2-free electricity from nuclear at about 4.5 - 5.0 c/kWh.

 

This project is insanity on STEROIDS.

 

One has to feel sorry for the already-struggling Joe and Jane Workers in Maine who will ultimately pay for all this.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/01/effort-to-build-offshore-win...

Comment by John F. Hussey on April 17, 2020 at 8:43am

The country doesn't have any extra money to waste, with a little bit of luck the President and the next Congress will kill off the tax dollar sucking SCAM that is "offshore wind"! 

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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