Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are Wind Generators Coming to the Bay?

Virginia OKs study of wind turbines in Chesapeake Bay
State regulators have approved scientific surveys for a test project that aims to build one of the first offshore wind turbines in the United States, in waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow scientists working for Gamesa Energy USA LLC to determine if conditions are ripe for construction of a single, prototype windmill that would generate as much as 5 megawatts of electricity in waters about 3 miles west of Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore.

If built there, the turbine would become a landmark and gateway to the Chesapeake Bay, visible from the lower Eastern Shore, to arriving ships and boats and to motorists crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
I don't believe wind energy is a panacea, but it can certainly be part of a mix of energy to help fuel our civilization.  I have conflicting thoughts on wind turbines.  First, negatively, wind turbines are hazardous to some birds, particularly raptors, like the Bald Eagle and Ospreys and vultures.

A Vulture falls to a wind turbine in Spain

Other birds that might be at risk include seagulls, terns, pelicans, and gannets.

 Wind energy is also not without risks.  Imagine boating by a wind turbine when it decides to do this:

On the other hand, all my best fishing spots are structure created by man.  Structures are a resource that a wide variety of fish use for their own purposes (largely hunting I suspect), and can easily imagine wind generators, especially ones inactive for various reasons) being very attractive fishing sites. 

However, the sites being discussed, at the mouth of the bay, won't be of much use to me.  We would need to get some up here in the Maryland end to give me a fair test.

No comments:

Post a Comment