To the editor:
The recent rally and other calls to ban the SouthCoast Wind offshore wind farm has produced a remarkable number of complete misconceptions, misinformation and disinformation. I …
To the editor:
The recent rally and other calls to ban the SouthCoast Wind offshore wind farm has produced a remarkable number of complete misconceptions, misinformation and disinformation. I looked into the specifics, and the numbers and supposed “consequences” are simply false.
One such accusation that you published on May 18, 2023 indicated that there were going to be “1,500 to 2,000” of these large wind turbines to be installed. That is simply not true, and not even close. Instead, there are to be 147 wind turbines, and five offshore substation platforms. Big difference, wouldn’t you say?
The next is that the pile-driving necessary to anchor these platforms will necessarily “harm fish and other wildlife, such as whales.” However, much of this pile-driving depends on what kind of foundations are used. Currently, there are four different base designs, including mono-pile, piled jacket, suction-bucket jacket, and gravity-based. Only the “piled jacket” design requires a significant amount of pile-driving, while the mono-pile, as its name suggests, requires only one pile to be driven, and the suction-bucket jacket and gravity-based jackets require no pile-driving at all.
Then there is the issue of the power cables to be laid on the sea floor, and up the Sakonnet River, across Island Park, and then across Mt. Hope Bay to Brayton (Point). These cables are intended to be buried in a ditch some three to eight feet beneath the sea floor, and the worry is how it will affect sea life. While the actual digging of the trench is liable to create some noise and turbidity in the actual site of digging, the tides will very rapidly wash away the disturbed sediment, as is the case after we have a period of heavy rain that also produces significant, but temporary turbidity. Once the cable is laid and buried, the disturbed portion of sea floor will rapidly reestablish itself, and no lasting harm done.
Next is the plaguing question about”what happens when they get to Island Park?” The actual plan is to drill horizontally under Island Park (no ditching required), with the cable reemerging into Mt. Hope Bay, and no actual disturbance to Island Park at all.
Finally, there is the supposed “issue” of the wind farm itself, and it supposed “effect” on sea life once completed. The fact is such structures become a haven for sea life, a virtual sanctuary that is actually very beneficial to sea life of all kinds, partly because commercial fishing will be prohibited there, and partly because, as is very well-known to all sports fishermen among the offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, large offshore structures like these are quickly covered in corals, seaweed, barnacles, mussels, sponges, and all the other forms of sessile sea life. In turn, these become nurseries for small fish, and that in turn draws in the big fish, like stripers, tuna, mahi-mahi, and everything else, and yes, including whales and seals, feasting on an abundance not found anywhere else.
35 North Water St.