Re: In the Matter of the Application of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc., for a Certificate to Construct a Wind-Powered Electric Generation Facility in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Case No. 16-1871-EL-BGN
Dear Mr. Haque, Mr. Butler:
Please accept our comments on the MOU on radar applications for pre- and post construction, and other relevant commentary, on the Icebreaker Proposed Project of 6 offshore wind turbines.
Staff at the OPSB indicated that “The Great Lakes has unique ecological properties compared to land installations. Due to the fact that this project is precedent-setting, since it is the first proposed off-shore wind facility in Lake Erie, Staff requires more information on the radar technology monitoring protocol it selected for this small demonstration project and whether it can reliably measure the effect of off-shore turbines on birds and bats and inform of the risk levels for future development projects in Lake Erie. The pre-construction radar monitoring protocol is important to Staff’s investigation because it establishes baseline conditions using methodologies that will be duplicated during the project’s operational phase to provide robust pre- vs. post-construction comparisons for impact assessment.” (We respectfully disagree that pre-construction radar monitoring protocol can establish baseline conditions.)
Our (Great Lakes Wind Truth/NA-PAW) comments are submitted with special attention to the proposed radar studies one of which or more, would presumably be engaged in this proposal, and other wildlife related reflections, despite the over reaching concern that the entire proposed project is founded on dubious principles, principles that to us are incompletely conceived, and disingenuous.
We begin with umbrella or general discussion of the frailty of the project’s proposal.
Background of objections
There will be no net benefit to the people of Ohio. There will be no massive outlay of jobs in a “supply chain.” There will be no reduction of GHSs, and may indeed be more, and the good people of OH will be asked to bear the societal and personal costs of higher energy rates. Where are the RFPs if this proposed project is to bring jobs? We understand vague promises were made to potential suppliers, without firm discussion of what products would be needed, what costs would be incurred, and on what timelines producers would be expected to manufacture and deliver. We note that the five turbines at Block Island, have failed miserably to produce long term viable jobs, and that the 300 or so temporary construction jobs are now obviously obsolete. Manufacture of the Block Island turbines was: blades from Denmark, “the nacelles were made at a GE facility in St. Nazaire, France, and then shipped across the Atlantic to Rhode Island by boat,” “the turbines' white towers arrived by cargo ship from Aviles, Spain. That ship also carried all of the parts to the final site.” If we expect a different chain for Icebreaker, we can think again.
“Block Island has messed up gill netters and trawlers,” Brady said. “They’re not going to certain areas because its a risk to the boat. The five turbines they put in place there are ruining one of the most productive bottoms around.” In an article titled “Offshore wind power will absolutely cost jobs of fishermen,” Andrew Follett describes the concerns of Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.
“This will absolutely costs jobs in the U.S…..“If New York Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s administration gets what it wants from offshore wind that’s thousands of fishing jobs. It’ll rip the coastal communities apart.”
We can anticipate additional burden upon Great Lakes Fishermen, many of whom already are expressing similar concern. The Brookings Institute estimates that US fishing constitutes an economic boost of $90 billion and supports over one and a half million jobs. This includes recreational fishing, such as the Great Lakes and waterways.
Offshore wind is known to cost four to six times more than traditional fossil fuel-based plants. These costs will likely never be recovered and will only serve to add to the folly of industrial wind factories in general. Block Island has cost $300,000,000 (Three hundred million dollars), or $150,000 (One hundred fifty thousand) per home of 2,000. As one writer points out: “To put this in some perspective, the U.S.’s newest nuclear reactor, Watts Bar Unit 2, cost $4.7 billion to build but powered 4.5 million homes. That’s only about $1,044 per household…. This means powering a home with the Block Island wind farm is almost 144 times more expensive than powering a home with the newest U.S. nuclear reactor.” We do not yet have calculations for the underwater cables, some of which are now being remediated due to premature lifting. We also do not know about the cost of the inevitable maintenance, lubricants, and testing of operational fittings, etc. ongoing. Nor is the cost of decommissioning known. Deepwater Wind, the developer, will receive about 24 Cents per kilowatt hour, and the average U.S. citizen now pays about 12.5 cents. Rhode Islanders say they have zero expectation that they will pay less for their electricity, and likely more, directly into the pockets of Deepwater Wind.
The argument that people are willing to pay more for “cleaner” electricity, is the pipe dream offered by wind developers. Sold to the most gullible. The electricity is clearly NOT cleaner, and always requires 100% back up from reliable hydro, gas, diesel, or nuclear facilities. What purchasers might not know, is they are actually paying more for a product that is essentially dirtier, with zero societal/environmental benefits.
Not for the feint of heart, more stats:
Please read on:Letter to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB)