Delaware

Support Offshore Wind!

Republicans downstate, and well everywhere really, as is their practice, are spreading their lies and misinformation about offshore wind. If you support renewable energy and fighting climate change, then Offshore Wind is one of the most viable technologies to deliver us from carbon based energy. And to fight against Republican lies, we need you to send a letter to our elected officials by clicking on this link.

That link takes you to a letter writing campaign that will send letters to Senators Coons and Carper, Governor Carney, DNREC Secretary Garvin, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, and your local state Representative and Senator. There is a draft letter ready for you to sign, but you are encourage to add your own personal flair to it.

You can use some of the information below:

Senator Hocker is telling people that the project will cost Delaware money (completely false), dig up the beach (also completely false), and pose a public and environmental health problem (again, you guessed it, false).

Additional facts from the Sierra Club:

1) FALSE: The Skipjack offshore wind project will ruin the view from Delaware beaches and hurt our tourism industry.

TRUE: The view from the beach during the peak tourism months will be preserved due to the curvature of the earth and the haze formed by naturally occurring humidity at the beach. Studies and reality have shown that tourism and property values are unaffected, even when wind turbines are located closer to the beach than those currently proposed off the coast of Delaware.

2) FALSE: Wind turbines are going to hurt the coastal vacation property market.

TRUE: The study that CRI uses as proof of this actually stated that not only are wind farms supported by the majority of those surveyed, but they went on to say, “Our results also show that if turbines are built further than eight miles from shore, the visual impacts diminish substantially for many survey respondents and it is unlikely the turbines would negatively impact coastal vacation property markets.” That’s right, every statistic CRI declared based on this study is completely false. Based on this report, at 18 miles from the shore, there will be no vacation property market related to the project.

3) FALSE: Ratepayers will pay more for their electricity.

TRUE: Delaware ratepayers will not be purchasing the energy from this wind farm, and the average cost to purchase electricity is currently 7.28 cents a kWh, not the 3.5 cents that CRI claimed. Furthermore, if Delaware were to build a wind farm off the coast, research from a professor at the University of Delaware shows that ratepayers could actually pay less than the current rate if the farm was large enough to meet demand.

4) FALSE: The wind farm projects will have no positive environmental impact.

TRUE: The study that CRI sites in their propaganda states, multiple times, that tens of thousands of tons of CO2 will be saved by producing just the two currently debated wind farms alone. With the addition of other wind farms coming online in other states, this number is likely to be increased exponentially in the coming years.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

40 comments on “Support Offshore Wind!

  1. Nothing like a barrage of propaganda from your home state. As noted this game features the usual pathetic lies designed to scare the simple minds into compliance. Renewable Energy is coming and mere stupidity and games will not stop it.

  2. How about nuclear?

    • Yes, nothing like having an enormous terrorist target in your midst, especially one that is exempted from liability if/when something goes wrong. And one that costs $18 billion to build.

      Now explain why that’s better than wind.

  3. Pretty much everything is better. Wind turbines have a designed life of 20-25 years and require $50000 each to decommission. Put them in a salt water environment and the life span is cut dramatically. Ask the Germans. Also, to power Manhattan the wind farm would need to be the size of Connecticut.

    • cassandram

      Nuclear plants have a design lifespan of 40 years or so, same with coal. In Germany and Holland, they are getting wind turbine lifespans greater than 20 years. Salt water just means that you have to pay more attention to maintenance. Ask any sailboat owner. The good news about wind power is that it is a booming technology — efficiency and longevity improvements happen regularly and change the whole expectation of what is possible. You won’t read that in the wingnut publications you are using for your BS statements.

  4. According to Scientific American (scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-power-plant-aging-reactor-replacement-/) you are wrong. Although the original estimated life span was 40 years, many plants are destined to last 50, 75 and even 100 years. And, their footprint is a fraction of wind.

    • Dustyn Thompson

      Footprint is not as relevant when it is offshore wind. Also, are you including the footprint of the mining operations and waste disposal in the Nuclear discussion. Also, the cost of decommissioning the turbines is paid by the company and worked into the contract. Finally, the size of the leasing areas are large enough to power much of the demand on the east coast, particularly when used in concert with other cleaner energy sources.

    • cassandram

      The Scientific American makes an excellent point about designed lifetimes — plants can be improved to keep going for longer than their design lifetimes. Even if — in the case of nuclear — they don’t get much more efficient in the process. There is no reason to think that wind won’t be able to survive field improvements that will extend their lifetimes too. As is the case in places like Germany and Holland.

      The real problem with the footprint is that you are not comparing apples to apples here. Nuclear plants need a couple of square miles of area — for both operation, and security. Still — part of the plant’s function is some long term storage of nuclear waste. While that waste is present, that land is not available for anything else. For a windfarm, you can still use the waters proximate for recreation and commerce. For a nuclear facility, you don’t know if you can ever use that land again for productive use until you get to the cleanup. You can dismantle a windfarm and its waters and surface don’t leave any environmental detriments. For nuclear, you have to add on the acreage needed for permanent storage of its waste as well. There really isn’t long term storage, but for places like WIPP in NM, no one will have any other use for that land for at least 10K years. And the longterm storage acreage needed for nuclear plants needs to be added to its footprint.

  5. 1pointoforder

    Lancelot, the article you quote, itself quotes industry executives who suggest, with very aggressive maintenance (read that as replacing every part subject to radiation exposure or wear), the plants could last substantially longer than original design life.

    THAT is NOT the same thing as a reactor that can last more than 40 years. Flag on the play; misleading quotation of a source.

    Wind power is part of the power generation portfolio. Manhattan won’t be powered solely by wind. There is solar to consider, along with fuel cells and gas generation. Windmills need to be built where constant winds prevail.

    The problem to be solved is transmission. There are significant bottlenecks in east/west transmission. That definitely needs to be addressed.

  6. Then we can agree that nuclear can be a part of the solution?

    • You have explained how it’s different, not how it’s better — $50K to decommission is pennies compared with an $18 billion initial construction cost.

      Why the love for big, expensive projects that protect a centralized monopoly?

    • cassandram

      No we can’t. Not until you can render the waste non-radioactive quickly. Not until the power companies who want to build it can do that from funds from the capital markets — not from their rate payers.

      • Wait – you force nuclear to use capital market funds but are perfectly fine with government subsidies of renewables? OK.

        • cassandram

          Nuclear relies on government funding to dispose of its wastes. And nuclear is a full-on, completely mature technology. As is any carbon fuel. No taxpayer should subsidize a mature technology. They should complete on the free market.

        • Dude, you’ve got to be kidding me. Who would underwrite nuclear if the industry didn’t have a waiver from tort claims? That’s not government support?

  7. Transmission is not the biggest problem. It’s the hour to hour, minute to minute inconsistency of the power supplied by the wind. Solar has the same problem. There has been some promising research right here in Delaware of adding capacitance to the grid via electric vehicles. But this approach increases demand on the grid while also being reliant on battery technology that, while improving, is still a big roadblock to widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Additionally, the energy density of solar and wind is extremely low – to supply a significant fraction of the energy needs of a modern society will require impractical amounts of space.

    Any rational analysis of the energy demands for the next 50-100 years will show that nuclear power and natural gas should be the dominant sources of supply for electrical energy during this period. Large nuclear plants should continue to supply the bulk of the baseline power demand while flexible combined cycle gas turbines supply the bulk of peaking needs.

    Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power all have a role to play but until battery technology makes significant breakthroughs or new grid capacitance technologies are developed the inconsistency and space inefficiency of these sources will only make them suitable for niche markets.

    • Any rational analysis?

      You are limited here by thinking well within the box. First, you’re committed to maintaining the grid, rather than embracing point-of-use generation. Second, your timeline seems to assume that battery technology won’t get better gradually, as it’s already doing, and that solar efficiency won’t continue to progress. If someone finally comes up with a UV panel, the cloudy day problem goes away. Do you really think that will take 50-100 years?

      This is one of the biggest contradictions in the global warming debate on future fuel sources — those who want to wish away global warming like to say technology will solve that problem, but they never think it can do so by improving non-carbon means of generation. Which is it — will technology improve or won’t it?

      What you mean is that your rational analysis reaches these conclusions. They are completely in line with the conclusions of power companies, which want to keep profiting from the current power-from-a-big-plant paradigm.

      As for solar taking up too much space, we never seem to have that complaint about parking lots. So put solar roofs on those open parking lots. It’ll keep your car in the shade while you’re inside the building, too. (I’m only half-serious, but I’m trying to illustrate that inside-the-box thinking is one of the greatest barriers to better progress on curbing carbon emissions).

      And all of this assumes that government will continue to underwrite fossil fuels along with the alternatives, which it does mainly because the military runs on oil. That will not be the case for another 50 years because people younger than us take this threat far more seriously than you do.

    • cassandram

      Transmission is absolutely a problem as renewables = decentralization of generation. Getting the power from a windfarm or solar farm or hydro facility to the grid so it can be sent to users is a high priority item in renewables development. Microgrids — as Alby hints at below — is a potential solution and is one that multiple military bases use as they take on renewables to power their facilities. Microgrids can operate within the larger grid infrastructure or operate on their own.

      Wind doesn’t need much air velocity to work. And they are designed to operate and generate power if the wind speed is above certain speed, called the “cut in speed” (which I think is at least 4 MPH). Both solar and wind typically work so that if there is no wind or no sun, customers get their electricity from the regular grid or they get it from battery banks that will store excess power. Batteries and storage get better daily. Utility-scale battery banks aren’t too far away.

      Real rational anaylsis sees these renewables (including hydro) as excellent ways to generate power from non-carbon sources while still using carbon sources as a backup. As the batteries get better, you’ll need less of the carbon backup. Places like Burlington, VT, Aspen, CO, Reyjkavik, Iceland all report being powered 100% by renewables. There are other smaller American cities that do and big cities like Atlanta and San Diego are working on getting there.

      Just because you don’t know that people are not just moving to renewables, but also working on reducing their carbon consumption doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. And much like anything else, the more it happens, the cheaper it gets, the more efficient it becomes and the market for it gets bigger.

  8. Geoff Peters

    I would like to set the record straight on the two wind projects proposed off MD and Delaware.

    The wind turbines are 854 feet tall, the tallest on Earth, they will be located as close as 17 miles in phase I, and as close as 12 miles in following phases. The Ocean City MD Govt has illustrations of what they would look like, here is a link to them. On most days they would clearly be visible from shore.

    http://upload.oceancitymd.gov/drive/s/BKOfLOlZvdkOzzd6Yps3nsP39OGEI1

    The red flashing warning lights would be very visible at night, and the night sky would be changed forever. Here is what wind turbines look like during the night. Most folks don’t think about the impact during the night.

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

    As for damage to the coastal economy, there have been studies made by NC State University and the Univ Of Delaware, both have found a negative impact due to visible offshore wind turbines. The reason Ocean City Mayor and city council oppose visible wind turbines is the concern for irreparable damage to the local economy, home values, and tourism. They are not against wind turbines, just the visibility. The NC State study found that over half of persons who rent the same home for five years would not rent the house again if there were visible wind turbines.

    https://news.ncsu.edu/2016/04/taylor-coast-2016/

    The cost of electricity is indeed much higher. The cost of wholesale energy in the 13 State PJM grid is about 4 cents per kWh, Orsted, the wind turbine company, would be paid over 19 cents per kWh. The higher cost of energy is equal to $177,000,000 annually.

    There is indeed no regional environmental benefit as determined by a report paid for by the Maryland Public Service Commission. See pages 92 and 160 of the report.

    http://www.levitan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Levitan-Associates-Inc.-Evaluation-and-Comparison.-Revised-Public-Version.-Case-No.-9431.-ML-214140.pdf

    As for job creation, Orsted is a Danish Company and US Wind is an Italian Company. Orsted installed the five wind turbines off Block Island. The generators were made in France, the blades in Denmark, the towers in Spain, the cabling in S. Korea. installed by a Norwegian ship and crews. The US lacks infrastructure to manufacture and install large turbines like this. Likewise, subsidies and profits would also flow overseas.

    There is also concern for wildlife, sea life, bird life from these turbines. Electrical fields generated are known to interfere with some species navigation such as whales and dolphins. It is unknown the effect on the important horseshoe crab, the largest population of them is here, and they are critical to medical research, testing vaccines and medical implants.

    It is unfortunate the Sierra Club supports destroying nature to try to save it. A middle ground which many would support is to simply move the turbines further from the shore. This is how the UK is now doing it.

    A Bethany Beach Homeowner.

  9. Keeping it Real

    Crickets……

  10. cassandram

    You don’t see much of these turbines even from the rendering. And I’ll remind you that you may own a home on the beach, but you do not own the viewshed. Do you stop ships from crossing in front of your view? Or do you move out while ships are crossing? Or jetskis, or sailboats. These turbines are not going to affect your enjoyment of the beach or the ocean and if they do, you can sell and move to a cave in West Virginia.

    You won’t see much of the red lights from 12 miles out — certainly not like this video which is very close.

    From your *study*:

    “If turbines were 12 miles or further from shore, the turbines would not impact this group’s rental decisions. The number of turbines in the wind farm made some difference if the turbines were 8 miles from shore or closer, but didn’t appear to make a difference once the wind farm was 12 or more miles offshore.”

    There’s no real reason to even discuss your financial data since it has no citations.

    The Levitan report just focused in on the costs of the project and the amount of energy created or displaced by the project. They attempt a review of the emissions impacts that is pretty much trash. It assumes that the western portion of the PJM is static and is not working with utilities and energy providers that are also working to add renewables or working to reduce their own emissions. At this moment in time, we are not looking at a zero-sum game. It doesn’t give any real environmental impacts, this report certainly did not do a formal Environmental Impact Statement that might give you that.

    Just because other countries have done a better job at building wind turbines doesn’t mean that we don’t install them or buy them. You didn’t NOT buy your cell phone because it was manufactured overseas. We should be very annoyed that the GOP has worked very hard at stopping efforts at renewable energy here.

    ps. the Cesar Rodney Institute is TRASH. They are specifically paid to launder this kind of bullshit into public discourse. Just be clear that when you see their name, they are always and everywhere WRONG.

  11. Keeping it Real

    Ships, jet skies and sail boats belong on the sea. Not turbines.

    • wow. real Very Smart take there.
      not that i think you’ll give a satisfactory answer…. but why? (odds are the bot just made this post to pwn the libs)

    • cassandram

      That’s a very *entitled* take there. As if you own something to be able to say what is there. The people who pay to put sand on your beaches probably own more of that than you do. We should make sure they weigh in.

  12. How about we don’t do these things and you can have a great view of the beach as it washes away your home due to sea level rise.

    • Windowpane

      The Obams’s don’t seem to be too worried about the rising ocean levels. They just purchased ocean front property. Hmmmm. What do they know that we don’t?

      • cassandram

        They know that the worst case scenario isn’t until the turn of the century for Martha’s Vineyard.

        • Windowpane

          Really? I thought we had 10 years max. In other words, none of us will be around to prove or disprove this whole thing. Fake news.

          • cassandram

            Wel[, you are (surprise, surprise) misinformed. 10 years is the window to stop adding to the warming problem and to start turning it around. Some of the actual effects will take awhile.

            • Really? How about China and India? They are the big Carbon contributers. Why not protest them? Because it doesn’t fit into the narrative that America is evil. Still think this whole oceans rising is BS, but to be consistent, you need to go after the real culprits.

              • How about them? Perhaps you don’t subscribe to the belief in changing what you kind. Since we don’t live in India or China, it’s rather difficult to “protest” them, but it’s worth mentioning that China was trying to wean itself off coal until Trump’s election, at which point they said, “Fuck it.”

                America isn’t evil. Greed is evil, and greed is why this is happening. Try reading that book your God supposed dictated. I’m pretty sure it takes a very poor view of greed, and of the excuses you offer.d

                You are an ignorant (contributErs?) man trying to make himself feel better by insulting people who both know more than you and disagree with you.

                Get some professional help for your feelings of inferiority.

              • cassandram

                We are the real culprits. And while other people need to decarbonize too, we are the only nation who can lead enough on this to force others to comply.

                And go away until you have something smarter to day.

  13. I’m supposed to worry about the view millionaires have from their beach houses? C’mon, their property values are propped up by the government (look up the federal subsidy that is flood insurance) in the first place.

    As for Mr. Peters’ concerns, look at photos of the tar sands fields in Canada and tell me which fuel source is more damaging to the environment. People like him nurture the perfect, the better to fight against the good.

  14. Thomas Fowler

    How did the Bloom Energy “deal” work out for Delaware? This is a classic Boondoggle and what’s worse, is that you are using the naive that think this is going to save the world. I hope you politicians and Professors enjoy the money Orsted is throwing around. If you guys were serious about climate change, you would be promoting solar farms thru brown to green on land fills, super fund sites and old industrial lands. That would be true environmentalism, recycling ruined land rather then ruining the oceans and state parkland.

    • It’s not an either/or situation. We need both. And I don’t think you’re the person to decide what “true environmentalism” is.

      • Thomas Fowler

        It is an either / or. Why ruin another natural habitat and state parkland? Answer, because it is cheaper (more profitable) to lease Federal subaqueous lands for pennies on the dollar, then invest in land that potentially may need cleanup (cost more money). There is also the large tax advantage for offshore wind. Solar has lost most of it’s tax incentive. This quote is from Warren Buffet “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” source US News and World Report.

        • We’ll have to disagree then. It is not either/or based on subsidies. And there’s no evidence of destruction of underwater habitat that will come anywhere close to the damage done to fisheries by the recent deepening of the shipping channel.

          You’re just another conservative cheapskate. Or are you a NIMBY? One or the other, so why not just pack it in instead of stamping your tiny feet?

          • Thomas Fowler

            No, I’m educated and not just a person who believes in all the alarmist propaganda that offshore wind companies use to ram this thru. I’m not very concerned about the destruction of underwater habitat, that will be minimal. I am concerned about marine mammals and birds, cost to benefit analysis and the destruction of habitat in our state park for a 4 story, 500 by 150 foot substation. The reference to subaqueous lands, was the fact that the federal government is giving away the lease rights and making this highly profitable to Orsted and others. I am a practical environmentalist and I know a good example of a boondoggle when I see one. Do you even know what a boondoggle means? Here I’ll help you. Boondoggle
            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            For other uses, see Boondoggle (disambiguation).
            A boondoggle is a project that is considered a waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations.
            boon·dog·gle
            /ˈbo͞onˌdäɡəl/
            Learn to pronounce
            INFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
            noun
            work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.

            • Fair enough. I don’t know the details of this particular case, which is what determines whether it’s a boondoggle, so I can’t dispute your cost-benefit analysis. But I disagree that you’ll stop offshore wind indefinitely. There won’t be any habitat to save if we don’t, and that state park will be subaqueous itself by 2100.

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