Commentary

printed 05/14/2021

It’s all over now, that being the effort of local officials and others to block the wind energy projects slated to be installed off the resort coast in the next couple of years.

The handwriting, as it were, went up on the largest wall available this week, when the Department of Interior approved the first large-scale wind project just 12 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

This is despite local opposition there that included representatives of area’s sizable fishing fleet, who worry that the 62 turbines (or 84, depending on the source) to be planted in the sea floor there will disrupt the fish and their commercial fishing-based livelihoods.

What’s more, the Department of Interior more or less acknowledged that was a consideration, but went on to point out that this $2 billion wind farm is just the beginning in President Biden’s push to have 30 gigawatts of generating capacity working offshore by 2030.

Arguments concerning the interruption of smooth and seamless horizons by windmill towers, and the ruination of the peaceful views from the beach and balconies just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Federal officials, apparently, have already heard that chorus up in New England and discounted it as a major concern. It’s evident now that the federal embrace of wind energy is complete, that this is the way it’s going to be and that offshore windfarm opponents might as well accept it.

That said, now is the time for officials to start thinking about how Ocean City and adjacent areas might derive some benefit from this.

With former Coastal Bays Program Executive Director Dave Wilson now serving as the Maryland Development Manager for US Wind, whose MarWin project calls for 32 turbines 17 miles offshore, it’s an easy conversation to have.

One would assume those discussions have already begun, but if, for some inexplicable reason, they haven’t, there’s no point in waiting.

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