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The previous plans to add wind turbines in Ocean City to provide a natural source of energy have been delayed yet again. It is scheduled to be completed with construction by 2023. The company in charge of the project, Ørsted, originally planned the Skipjack Wind Farm to be completed in late 2022. Due to the evolution of federal permits, the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Manage (BOEM) issued a notice of intent during the permitting process, pushing the date back.
These wind turbines will be located in 20 to 30 meters of water, 17 miles off the shore of Ocean City. They plan to install 32 turbines, which will fuel more than 76,000 homes in Maryland.
This project is a controversial topic to certain people, especially those who reside on the East Coast. Some claim it will ruin the view of their beloved hometown, while others look at the benefits of having naturally produced energy. Unfortunately, the turbines will be visible from the beach, but according to photographs showing how the wind turbines will be expected to look, they will be minimal from their distance.
Although they may seem small, they are three and a half times taller than the tallest building in Ocean City. The hotel, Golden Sands, stands 245 feet, adding to the list of reasons people dislike the idea of them.
Former president of the Assateague Coastal Trust and current chairman of the Ocean Pines Environmental Community, Ken Wolf, sees the negatives the wind turbines will bring to our tourist town. “We will be the first resort beach to have visible wind turbines on the coast,” Wolf stated and continued, “It is unfortunate that we are going to be experimented on. I think the wind turbines are going to have a detrimental affect on our tourism industry.”
Sophia Krasner, a sophomore at Stephen Decatur, has concerns about how “the wind turbines may be helpful for our environment, but I believe they will ruin our view and hurt the economy before they do good. I work on the boardwalk, and I, along with the tourists, do not want to stare at white towers against the skyline,” she stated.
On the other hand, many see the several positives the wind turbines will provide for our state. This project will create new jobs for those in engineering, construction and operation, bringing even more money and resources to our economy and state.
Craig Johnson, a physicians assistant at Atlantic General Hospital, believes the wind turbines will be beneficial for the environment. “I am a proponent of renewable energy and wind is one component, so I support the idea of offshore wind turbines in general. I think there are pros and cons but that we need to move forward with renewables such as wind, which will become more affordable and more efficient with greater investment in the technology,” Johnson stated.
Unfortunately, whether or not you believe the wind turbines will be beneficial or not, the plan for them to be installed is a go. They will bring many environmental positives, but could possibly lead to damage in the tourism industry.