Some New Jersey residents oppose state wind farm project
New Jersey is moving ahead with plans to build a massive wind farm 20 miles from the coast, but not everyone is happy.
Supporters, including Gov. Phil Murphy, insist that the Ocean Wind Project, which calls for the construction of around 100 giant wind turbines in the ocean over the next five years, and hundreds more to l future, will stimulate the state’s economy, create thousands of new jobs and provide enough green energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
Tricia Conte, the founder of Save Our Shoreline, is strongly opposed to the wind farm.
“At first I was concerned about the sight,” she said. “And then the more I researched, I realized there were more issues than sight.”
She said: “In other areas where green power has been installed, California, Germany and Denmark, there have been significant increases in the cost of electricity.
Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, initially said there would be an increase in costs but “we need to take a long-term view of offshore wind, and this is a huge opportunity for the industry. economy of our state and that is the only way we are going to be able to fight climate change.
He said the key thing to keep in mind is that “fossil fuels are going to become obsolete technology, and obviously they come at a huge cost to the climate and to air pollution.”
Visibility of offshore wind turbines
Conte said another problem with the wind farm is that tourists to the Jersey Shore can change their plans and no longer show up.
“People have said that the wind turbines will not be visible but they will be,” she said. “It’s a concern.”
O’Malley insisted that it was simply not true that wind turbines 20 miles offshore would discourage tourists to the Jersey Shore.
He noted that the beaches are constantly crowded “and this is despite the fact that you can see big boats on the horizon, it is despite the fact that you have the propeller planes with the commercials passing by”.
Concerns about offshore wind turbines and fishing
Conte said another issue is that studies have shown that both recreational and commercial fishing will be affected by the wind farm, as it will change the way moat fish move in the ocean.
“They won’t go through this electromagnetic field miles of buried cables, and they call it a fish barrier,” she said.
She also said that the construction of wind turbines, the sound and vibrations they produce, and electromagnetic fields would interfere with the whales’ ability to use their sonar and threaten their survival.
O’Malley said there are thousands of wind turbines in Europe and efforts will be underway to minimize their ecological impact here.
He pointed out that the biggest threat to the New Jersey coast is “flooding on sunny days and future sea level rise” caused by climate change.
But Conte argues that the wind farm is a bad idea.
“We’re told it’s good for New Jersey, it’s good for the environment, good for the economy and good for the future of New Jersey,” she said. “We don’t think that’s right at all. “
Save Our Shoreline has started an online petition that currently has over 10,000 signatures against the wind farm.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]
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