Crowd gathers to talk with officials (Maddy Lauria)
A “rowdy crowd” of over 200 people attended a meeting about the “potential partnership” between Delaware and an offshore wind company. Details of the deal were previously covered in Offshore Wind Company eyes park, 10/3/19. The majority appeared to be skeptical about the proposal, for several reasons:
(1) The memorandum of understanding between DNREC and Orsted was apparently signed last summer, so why didn’t it become public knowledge earlier? (2) The wind farm turbines would be visible from shore. “If those wind farms are constructed as proposed,” Ocean City, MD Mayor Richard Meehan is quoted, “the sunrise that you get up and look at in the morning . . . will never be the same. It looks like Star Wars.” (3) Why should Delaware sacrifice public lands to a private company, i.e., was $18 million in infrastructure enhancements worth it? (4) While some of the electric power generated would be used by Delawareans, Maryland would get all of the renewable energy credits, “a point of contention for many in the crowd.” This is an illogical argument as offshore wind power projects are quite expensive versus conventional power and Maryland residents will get stuck with the “excess cost.”
There were some supporters, however, including those who reasoned that even though “Delaware wouldn’t benefit from the project on paper,” it would nevertheless play a role in offshore wind development and thereby contribute to the achievement of environmental benefits. “Pollution doesn’t stop at the state line,” etc.
If the proposed partnership falls through based on local opposition or failure to obtain federal approval for the project, Orsted will reportedly search for some other place to connect the project to the grid.