R.I. fishermen unsatisfied with wind turbine plan
- Sep 11, 2019 12:36 pm GMT
- 157 views
That meeting in
But, with Vineyard Wind and Ørsted both moving forward since then with layouts that fall short of what the fishermen want, it wouldn't be the last.
Again, on Monday night, in a meeting with Ørsted and its partner
"It's the exact thing we've been saying for years," said
Representatives of Ørsted were conciliatory -- "We're focused on being a good neighbor," head of engineering
Put simply, fishermen want to fish where they've always fished. If wind turbines are to be installed in fishing grounds, they say the towering structures need to be spaced wider apart to give their boats and gear enough room. The fishermen say the wind farms need to be oriented from east to west because that's the direction they fish.
Offshore wind developers, however, want to maximize the energy generating capacity of their projects, and the revenues that would come, so they are proposing tighter spacing, which would allow for potentially more turbines in their project areas down the line. They say they are also restricted in how they lay out their wind farms by peculiarities of the ocean bottom and the boulders and rocky formations that get in their way.
The dispute over spacing and orientation has already snarled the regulatory process for the
The issues are also now being considered by the
The agency is in the midst of weighing uniform spacing and orientation for all wind farms, to allow boats to more safely get through one project to another, said
"It will trigger a domino effect through all the wind farms," he said on Monday.
And Ørsted and Eversource, too, for their South Fork project. The companies say they worked to meet the fishing industry's needs by laying out the wind farm in three rows running east to west, with one nautical mile (about 1.2 miles) between each row. But the spacing between the turbines going north to south would be smaller, averaging about 0.7 nautical miles, and irregular.
"We're very aware of [the
"We don't even know what the rules of the road are," said Dellinger.
Still, at the meeting, members of the fishermen's board and others in the room commented extensively on the layout of the South Fork project and its location. They criticized its spacing and some questioned why it would be built in an area near a formation called Cox Ledge that is prime spawning habitat for fish.
"I hear you loud and clear," Murphy said in response to some of the comments.
"The problem is we've been hearing that from day one," said lobsterman
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