letter to the editor

printed 11/19/2021


I am writing in response to Arlo Hemphill’s letter of Nov. 4 with regard to the controversial wind turbines planned off our Maryland and Delaware coastlines.

Currently, Orsted proposes to construct 82 845-foot-tall wind turbines that will be visible from shore both night and day.

Please see the Ocean City Government website for illustrations of what they will look like. http://upload.oceancitymd.gov/drive/s/BKOfLOlZvdkOzzd6Yps3nsP39OGEI1 There is room in the two lease areas for as many as 200 or more 12MW wind turbines.

Certainly, Mr. Hemphill is correct in that this involves more than just the permanent residents of Ocean City. It involves anyone who comes to and loves the beach.

Think of the blue-collar worker who brings his children to the beach each year. Will their enjoyment be the same with these manmade towers cluttering the horizon, their visible red warning lights flashing throughout the night? Will they spend their hard-earned dollars as they have before or go somewhere else that is more appealing?

Studies show that visible wind turbines might decrease tourism between 15 percent and 38 percent and this would have a devastating impact on home values, jobs, and the tax base.

As for the feared sea level rise, NOAA global tidal gages show that there is no visible increase in the rate of sea level rise, which by the way, has been rising for 20,000 years (http://www.sealevel.info/MSL_global_thumbnails5.html).

The current rate of rise is approximately 5-8 inches per century and is hardly alarming. As for the supposed benefit with regard to fighting climate change, a Maryland Public Service Commission’s Report found that the wind turbine project would actually increase regional CO2 emissions within the 13-state PJM electrical grid. (http://www.levitan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Levitan-Associates-Inc.-Evaluation-and-Comparison.-Revised-Public-Version.-Case-No.-9431.-ML-214140.pdf).

Clearly, this nation needs to find clean sources of energy but they need to be both affordable and reliable. Offshore wind power costs four times more than onshore wind power. Solar energy is also considerably cheaper. The wind also tends to blow the least when power demand is at its highest.

Thus, wind power cannot replace most fossil fuel and nuclear power energy. Orsted, a Danish-owned company, will receive billions of dollars of subsidies which will significantly increase the cost of electricity in our area.

Once constructed, there will be few permanent jobs created. Higher electricity prices will harm the poor who can least afford it. Private business will bear the brunt of hundreds of millions of dollars in higher annual electricity prices.

Why risk our beach when there are other, better, and more affordable alternatives?

Geoff Pohanka

Bethany Beach

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