It is understandable that some Fenwick area residents are upset with a plan to bring undersea powerlines from the proposed wind farm off the Maryland-Delaware coast to a small portion of the state park.
In return Danish company Ørsted would pay for $18 million in improvements to an increasingly popular state park badly in need of major upgrades.
The dominant newspaper in Coastal Delaware, the Cape Gazette was quick to express support for the proposal in an editorial.
It does sound like a win-win to all involved, but concerns have been raised that range from secrecy of negotiations between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Ørsted to visual issues. Hovering over these concerns is a fear of the unknown.
Critics claim they knew little about Skipjack although an online search shows the project has been in the works for a while. It is also clear that Delaware offers the easiest access to the grid.
Delaware’s Caesar Rodney Institute, a long-time opponent of offshore wind, has weighed in with criticism over the skyscraper-like height of the towers, visual pollution, and long-running claims that energy from wind power is too expensive.
Backers contend the price of wind power is becoming competitive with other methods of power generation and note that the wind turbines will be far offshore.
The Skipjack project does have broad support in Maryland outside the Ocean City area.
In the meantime, Delaware officials and Ørsted say nothing is set in cement and point to the fact that public comments are being taken and public meetings are slated.
In other words, it’s a good time for skeptics to catch their breath and offer their views, without kneejerk reactions. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.