Conflict over wind turbines in Ocean City persists
March 27, 2018
Many residents of Ocean City have expressed their support for implementing wind turbines off the coast to provide a more eco-friendly source of energy. Although the project has received much support from the public, arguments over the exact placement of the turbines delay their construction.
A town hall meeting was held March 3, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, as the debate over the placement of wind turbines off of Ocean City’s coast continues to heat up. The meeting provided an opportunity for both those who support and oppose the project to voice their concerns.
Mayor Richard W. Meehan along with the Ocean City Town Council explained their support for turbines, but not for the placement of them 17 miles off the shore.
According to Delmarva Now, Meehan stated, “We support clean energy, we support the economic benefits. We just ask that we have the support to have them moved further offshore so they don’t take away the beautiful horizon forever.”
Meehan proposed that officials wait another two years to come up with a location that both sides can agree on. Supporters of the immediate placement of turbines rebutted that the delay would allow for more environmental damage to take place, fearing that the disapproval of wind turbines would contribute to climate change issues. Throughout the meeting, advocates claimed that now is the time to take action.
Numerous proponents believe that placing wind turbines off of Ocean City’s coast would aid in the town’s economy. Paul Rich of US Wind, the company in charge of installing the turbines, stated that the US Wind Project would produce over 60 jobs for Worcester County.
Some of the individuals in favor of moving the turbines farther offshore stated that if turbines were placed too close they would ruin the view of the beach, but most everyone insisted that it wasn’t the view of the beaches that drew them to Ocean City, it was the community.
As the meeting drew to a close, neither side changed its opinion, but both agreed that there needs to be more conversation about the topic. Each side is in favor of wind turbines, yet still must reach an agreement regarding their placement. Additionally, they hope a compromise can be reached sooner rather than later, and hope to stand together to watch the turbines go up.