Public info session coming this month on plan to bring wind farm power lines ashore

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US Wind location.
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A public information session for a proposed Delaware landfall site for wind power transmission lines has been scheduled.

The public engagement event will occur from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at Bethany Beach Town Hall, 214 Garfield Parkway.

US Wind’s projects, MarWin and Momentum Wind, entail the installation of up to 121 turbines that will feed electricity into the grid in Delaware. US Wind has proposed payments to municipalities related to the project.

In December, Gov. John Carney announced the start of formal negotiations with US Wind for the potential lease of state land at 3Rs Beach to deliver power from the turbines to the regional electrical grid. Maryland, which would benefit from the project in getting closer to its renewable energy goals does not have similar electric infrastructure.

State officials said the session only deals with the potential lease allowing the underground cables at 3Rs, including the construction plan and features that will be visible to park users after construction. The cables would then lead to substations in Delaware, with the Indian River coal-fired power plant site a likely destination. Once slated for closing, the plant stays open while efforts are made to strengthen the grid in the area.

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Also, the meeting the meeting will not cover or take comments about the wind turbines themselves and other possible parts of transmission lines, which are subject to other federal and state permitting processes that come with future opportunities for public comment.

The US Wind Projects are currently going through a federal permitting process that is separate from any state process, and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is currently considering the public comments on the project’s environmental impact. Should the projects proceed, state environmental permits will also be required.

“US Wind’s proposal to bring transmission lines ashore in Delaware, along with Gov. Carney’s announcement about negotiating a potential lease, have generated considerable public interest,” Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Controll Secretary Garvin said. “While the formal permitting process is ongoing, this public engagement event provides us an opportunity to share how this discrete portion of project will impact recreational aspects at the park.”

Ray Bivens, Director of DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation, said Parks staff will be available throughout the four-hour event to answer questions. Visitors can arrive at any time during the event to browse the displays and ask questions.

“While the scope of this event is limited to sharing information about the impact of recreational activities at the park and, specifically, the parking lot where construction is anticipated to be taking place, we believe park visitors will benefit from the information being presented,” Bivens said.

Visitors will be able to browse informational posters showing the existing parking area that will be impacted, inground-infrastructure, impact during construction, the proposed construction area and any anticipated restrictions on recreational access during the construction period.

The timeline and Web addresses for related future public meetings, as well as how and where to sign up for public notices and press releases, will also be available.

Opponents along the East Coast have mobilized against offshore wind projects with the help of the Glasgow-based Caesar Rodney Institute. Backers of the wind projects have accused CRI of being funded by fossil fuel interests and spreading misinformation. The conservative public policy group has denied those claims.

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