Wind power projects draw a crowd

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Good afternoon everyone,

The event did not get much attention up north, but an overflow crowd of 1,800 showed up in Ocean City on Saturday for a discussion of the two wind power projects off the Maryland and Delaware coasts.

US Wind and Ørsted outlined plans for their projects, with backers and detractors airing their views.

Ørsted previously proposed bringing electricity from its Skipjack project into a substation located on a portion of Fenwick Island State Park in return for $18 million in improvements to the state-owned property.

The two projects have numerous critics including the mayor of Ocean City and Delaware’s Caesar Rodney Institute. Opponents claim the sight of wind turbines off the coast would hurt tourism.

Supporters point to clean electricity as well as a boost to the economy and see a possible tourism boost for a few years from tourists who want to view the turbines up close.

The big question is whether wind turbines as high as New York’s Chrysler Building would be visible from 15 miles off the Delaware and Maryland coasts on a clear day. Sport and commercial fisherman are also worried about the impact of the structures.

The height of the wind turbine towers has been raised in the past year or so, due to increases in efficiency that have brought the cost of electrical generation to a more competitive level.

Maryland regulators allowed the hearing, due to questions about the height of the towers, but have not backed away from the projects.

Less controversial is a proposed wind power project nearly 30 miles off the Virginia coast. Few believe the turbine towers are visible from that distance. Whether moving the Maryland projects further offshore is financially feasible is a good question.

One thing we do know is that investment giants will be increasingly drawn to wind projects

The funder of Blackrock, which has a sizable operation in northern Delaware,sees a shift toward funding renewable energy projects as concerns grow over climate change.

Enjoy the sunny weather. If this newsletter was passed along, sign up here for your own free subscriptionDoug Rainey, chief content officer.

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