To the Editor:
I have been studying with desire the articles on the prepared Atlantic Shores offshore wind challenge, which plans to build 111 13.6-megawatt, 853-foot-tall wind turbines as close as 9½ miles off LBI and which will consist of pink flashing gentle beacons. This job is by far the most important and closest to the shore involving this kind of significant turbines of any in the planet! (If somebody thinks this is an exaggerated declare remember to confirm me incorrect.)
Observe that the top of every turbine will be roughly 5 periods the top of Barnegat Lighthouse, which is only 171 toes superior. And there will be 111 of them in this initial stage of enhancement, with a lot more in the offing as this project will involve 1,509.6 MW and Atlantic Shores needs to get to 2,300 MW.
With individuals info in thoughts, evaluating the visual affect of this undertaking to the compact and relatively handful of Prince Edward Island wind turbines (as pointed out in the June 30 Been There, Finished That column) is a little bit absurd. Also, evaluating the affect with the only functioning U.S. offshore wind job off Block Island, which entails just five substantially smaller sized turbines, is also not notably handy. And prior to discounting the likely sizeable area impression on tourism and property values again take into account the details of this Atlantic Shores project.
The experiments that have been carried out on the impacts of vacationer and house values in the U.S., these as the BOEM-commissioned Delaware study and the North Carolina Point out examine, have to be diligently reviewed and altered primarily based on the sizing of the turbines. Each those reports used much scaled-down wind turbines so the impacts they believed are probable understatements. The believed impacts would most undoubtedly be felt at considerably larger distances. So the comment that “at BOEM related distances, the negatives are mostly washed out,” whilst it is a direct estimate from the Delaware analyze, is totally deceptive in regard to our Atlantic Shores undertaking.
In addition, the studies at non-U.S. places these kinds of as off the Uk are not especially handy as they do not include beach communities these types of as ours but are commonly industrial sectors with big prior offshore oil and gas enhancement (according to a area “expert”).
So, of course, let’s be thorough in our evaluation. And when you listen to from the Atlantic Shores general public relations men and women, shell out distinct consideration to the facts of what they say. They are not significantly on solutions as to the impacts, but heavy on further experiments. That is their reaction time and yet again. But by the time individuals research are definitive, the job will be a accomplished offer and we will have to live with the affect.
A substantially more sensible technique would have been to do smaller sized-scale assessments and evaluate the final results, fairly than go “all in” and then live with the final results.
1 other area of major misunderstanding is the ratepayer and taxpayer charges. This is a complicated matter, but listed here are some information. The state Board of Community Utilities believed that our ratepayers will pay out a levelized net price/subsidy of $.05881 for each megawatt-hour for power received from the Atlantic Shores job. That is their estimate, not mine. (Notice: This is not the total cost of that electrical power to the ratepayer, but it signifies the desired subsidy above the “normal” anticipated offer/wholesale charge like a transmission part. It also incorporates other state and federal subsidies.) With that level of rate subsidy and the authorised level of 6,181 gigawatt-hours/calendar year around the 20-yr lifetime of the challenge, that interprets to an approximated total price tag of the undertaking to the ratepayers of $7.27 billion. Sure, that’s with a B. If you believe this undertaking is a boon to ratepayers, you are mistaken.
On top of that, these subsidies/more expenditures are just for this job. The other two New Jersey offshore wind assignments that have been authorized to day by the BPU overall a further $4.51 billion and $4.26 billion. And those 3 total just 50% of the focused New Jersey offshore capacity by 2035. If offshore wind technological know-how is so demonstrated and cost helpful, why are this kind of substantial subsidies demanded by the builders? And why are the assured rates on the Atlantic Shores venture so a lot bigger than those for the other two accepted offshore wind tasks?
It would be excellent if Atlantic Shores and the BPU would launch the supporting details on the task so that we can all just take a nearer look. This is a critical undertaking that will appreciably influence LBI for decades and we have to have to realize all the details and assumptions. Any meaningful cost profit analysis must consider substitute sites these types of as Hudson South and relocating the challenge farther out so that it mitigates the local community impact.