Offshore Wind

This page has information about offshore wind energy development (both ocean and Great Lakes, with some specifics about North Carolina). If you have questions about any of this, or have other material that should be included, or find any errors here, or would like to be on our email list, please email John Droz.

Make sure to look at the rest of this WiseEnergy.org website (see menus above), as there are several hundred studies and reports about the negative economic, environmental and technical consequences of industrial wind energy. Several videos worth watching are here. These videos are specifically about offshore wind: here and here. Our Offshore Energy Position Paper is about offshore fossil fuels and offshore wind energy.

Make sure to also check out our page of some North Carolina laws, proposed legislation, pertinent agencies, etc. as many of these directly apply to offshore wind energy. To keep current with what’s going on with this matter, please periodically check back here for updates.

Quickie overview: The federal government, BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) has been aggressively promoting offshore wind development for the US coastline, including NC.  This will consist of  industrial turbines over 600± foot tall — which would be the tallest turbines in the US.  [Note 1: How huge is 600 feet? Note 2: GE recently unveiled an 850 foot turbine aimed at the offshore market.]

There have been multiple proposals for offshore wind development off the NC Coast. After some “reviews” BOEM “reduced” these to two large areas: near Wilmington, and near Kill Devil Hills. See this BOEM NC offshore wind history for more details.

Our position is that alternative energy sources should be encouraged — but none should be permitted on the public grid until a scientific assessment proves that they are a NET societal benefitNo such scientific assessment exists for wind energy!  In fact the evidence from studies done by independent experts conclude that wind energy is a net economics and environmental loser. See below (and read through this website — esp EnergyPresentation.Info) for more details.

A NC law (H484) was passed in 2013, which sets up the first statewide wind energy permitting process. The NCDEQ (formerly DENR) is the lead agency. As explained on our NC Wind Energy Information page, H484 is a very weak law, that provides only minimal protections — and will likely not apply to offshore wind projects located in federal waters. Partly due to that, the NCDEQ Secretary sent BOEM a 2015 letter spelling out the state’s official (and very reasonable) position on offshore wind energy: that turbines should be 24+ nautical miles from the shore. To their credit, the Village of Bald Head Island (BHI) passed a formal resolution in 2015, advocating the same protection. The BHI Homeowners Association also passed a resolution opposing offshore wind.

BTW, a few years ago, two NC law scholars wrote a report on what NC (and other states) should do to be better prepared for offshore wind energy — and much of this has yet to be done. See “Wind over NC Waters — the State’s Preparedness to Address Offshore Wind Energy Projects.” As such we are largely at the mercy of the federal government (to protect our eco-systems, economic interests, etc.).

 Recommended Basic Plan of Action:

1-Get thoroughly educated. Carefully study all of the material below. The more educated you are, the better your chances of success are against an experienced opponent.

2-Stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before. Meet with those who have had success with this fight (e.g. in the US: Audra Parker). Learn what worked and what did not. (Compare this result to the earlier dismissal of her chances…)

3-Join forces. There is strength in numbers, so working together with others who have overlapping interests is wise.

4-Broaden your scope. There are numerous liabilities with offshore wind, so restricting your fight to just some of them is akin to fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

5-Be clever. Using sophisticated PR techniques (e.g. to develop citizen support) will greatly increase chances of success.

6-Be persistent. This is a political and legal fight, so it’s essential to being committed to representing your rights.

 

Offshore Wind: Getting the Big Picture —

Aerospace Engineer: The Problems with Offshore Wind are Not Worth It

Investigative Report: A Mighty Wind

Documentary film about offshore wind issues: Deepwater Dilemma

Report regarding some major legal and technical offshore wind energy issues.

Short video: One offshore Gas facility = 7700± offshore wind turbines

You Can’t Have Offshore Wind Power Without Oil

OffshoreWindCost

Some Offshore Wind Economic Realities  —

Study: offshore turbines closer than 25 miles to shore will substantially reduce coastal tourism [To address this reality, note that this Maryland bill requires offshore turbines to be at least 26 miles out.]

The Real Cost of Offshore Wind: Offshore wind is ~31x the cost of nuclear!

Offshore Wind: The Enormously Expensive Energy Alternative

Brookings Report: Economically, Wind and Solar Are Our Worst Options

True Cost of Energy — Wind

Editorial: VA Offshore Wind Project Throws Caution to the Wind

Dominion: Offshore Wind Too Expensive

Pretenses of Offshore Wind Economic Viability “Blown Away”

The cost of offshore wind power: worse than we thought

Study: It takes seven wind workers to produce the same electricity as one fossil fuel worker does

Study: Offshore wind costs at least twice as much as nuclear

Denmark Getting Ready to Scrap Offshore Wind Energy

Why relying on offshore wind will prove to be a costly error

Gresham’s Law of Green Energy

Offshore Wind Economic Fiasco

Offshore Wind Surge Threatens Merchant Generator Profits

Green Insanity: Offshore Wind Project Cost Mind-Boggling $10K Per KW

Eastern States Promote Expensive and High Risk Offshore Wind Systems

Will Offshore Wind Energy Deliver?

Taxpayers Are Being Ripped Off By New ‘Green Energy’ Offshore Wind Project

The Problem with Offshore Wind Energy: Cost

Sample Reports about the New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Experiences…

A 2008 New Jersey Study concludes that offshore wind is a net economics and jobs loser

A 2011 NJ Study (2nd consultant) concludes that offshore wind is a net financial detriment

A 2012 NJ Study (3rd consultant) concludes that offshore wind is a net economics and jobs loser

A 2012 NJ Study (4th consultant) concludes that offshore wind is an economic liability

2015: Offshore NJ wind project shot down again

2018: NJ Board of Public Utilities Rejects Offshore Wind Application

Sample Reports about the Massachusetts Experience (Cape Wind Project)…

Does Cape Wind Make Sense? (a slide presentation)

Hearings Confirm Lower-Cost Alternatives to Cape Wind

For more about wind energy financials, see our economics page.

 

Some Offshore Wind Environmental Realities —

Study: Potential Climatic Impacts and Reliability of Large-scale Offshore Windwind

Study: Effects of Offshore Wind Projects on Marine Mammals and Fish

Study: Effects of Offshore Wind Turbine Noise on Marine Mammals and Fish

Study: Effects of Underwater Noise on Auditory Sensitivity of a Cyprinid Fish

Study: The Effects of Human-generated Sound on Fish

Study: Impacts of Noise from Offshore Wind Project Construction and Installation on Large Whales

Study: Noise from Wind Turbine Pile Driving Disrupts the Structure and Dynamics of Fish Shoals

Study: Offshore Wind Projects – Ecological Effects of Noise and Habitat Alteration on Fish

Study: Impacts of offshore wind farm construction on Harbour Porpoise

Study: Offshore Turbines Puts Rare Shorebirds at Risk

Study: Birds and offshore wind turbines: a hot topic in marine ecology

Study: Bird migration studies and potential collision risk with offshore wind turbines

Study: Ecological Research on Offshore Wind: International Exchange of Experiences

Study: Assessing Environmental Impacts of Offshore Wind Farms – Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future

Study: A Critical Evaluation of Offshore Wind Turbine Cumulative Impact Assessments

Study: Offshore renewable energy: ecological implications of generating electricity in the coastal zone

Study: Environmental and Ecological effects of Ocean Renewable Energy Development – A Current Synthesis

Studies: Dozens of additional studies about the ecosystem impacts of offshore wind turbines

Offshore Wind Turbines Blamed After Three Whales Die Off Suffolk

Environmentalists link whale beachings to offshore wind turbine sonar

Study tracking where bird migration paths could cross offshore wind zone

Offshore US East Coast Wind Development Threatens Endangered Bird

Offshore wind turbine construction could be putting seals’ hearing at risk

For more about wind energy eco-system impacts, see our environmental page.

 

Some Offshore Wind Fishing Concerns —

Study: Wind Turbines and Offshore Energy Development

Study: warns of risks to navigation from offshore wind projects

Study: Evaluation of Potential EMF Effects on Fish Species of Commercial or Recreational Fishing

Study: Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on Fish and Invertebrates

Study: Recommended regional scale studies related to fisheries in New England offshore Wind Energy Areas

Fisheries science needs to catch up with offshore wind power

Offshore wind rush is irresponsible

Wind Rush

Fishermen’s Doubts Persist on Offshore Wind Project

US fishermen fear forests of offshore wind turbines

Fishermen Fear Damage From Wind Projects Along The Eastern Seaboard

Fishermen Give Cold Shoulder to Offshore Wind Developer

US Fishermen feel a chill from wind turbines

How fishermen could thwart Cuomo’s offshore wind master plan

Offshore Wind States: Beware

Fishermen worry that offshore turbines will damage their business

Ratepayers bankrolling offshore wind project opposed by LI fishing community

Responsible Offshore Development Association

 

Some Offshore Wind Military Concerns —

Industrial Wind Energy Interference with the Military: an Overview

South Carolina offshore turbines possible training threat to the military

Navy may torpedo offshore California wind project

US Navy Objects to Offshore Wind Turbines

US Navy Study: Wind Turbines Could Undermine Military Readiness

The Purpose of the Military is to Defend the Homeland, Not to Promote Wind Energy

Big Wind: Threat to Air Navigation, Military Assets

Sweden Denies Permit for $7.4B Offshore Wind Facility as it would Interfere with its Military

Some sample reports on wind energy radar interference. Note: These radar issues apply to fishing boats!

The message: it’s up to states to defend the military!