Myths and Facts about the LI Offshore Wind Park

from Long Island Offshore Wind Initiative 

MYTH: Wind energy is not reliable
FACT: The annual electricity production from wind farms is highly predictable and reliable. The reality is that while wind energy is naturally variable, modern wind turbines are up to 98% reliable.
Denmark and utility systems in regional areas elsewhere in Europe operate with 10-15% or more of their power coming from wind, without increased reliability problems or need for additional backup power plants. And in contrast to conventional power plants, wind farms do not need to shut down altogether for maintenance and repairs—a turbine fault, when it occurs, can be repaired while the other turbines continue to operate.

MYTH: The transmission cable will leak oil and harm the environment

FACT: The transmission cable contains NO oil or fluids and can NOT leak oil! Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are not expected to pose any threat to public health or the environment because thecable will be buried at least six feet under the ocean floor and at least four feet underground on land. The cable will be encased in iron armor. There are numerous existing cables throughout Long Island’s bays and the Atlantic Ocean, including telecommunications lines, sewage outfalls and existing LIPA transmission cables.

MYTH: Wind turbines kill birds and hurt fishery industries
FACT: Proper siting is key to minimizing the impacts of wind energy on birds and other wildlife. European studies show there is a relatively small impact on birds and birds actually avoid the turbines. In a paper prepared for the 2002 international Partners in Flight Conference it was estimated that of every 10,000 human-related bird deaths in the US, wind turbines cause 1 bird death. However, site specific, detailed avian studies are currently being conducted at the proposed site.
The Wind Park is anticipated to benefit fish stocks by creating 40 artificial reefs around the turbine foundations that will enhance fish stocks. Swedish studies have revealed that European offshore wind parks operating since 1991 have demonstrated that underwater structures have given birth to new marine ecosystems.

MYTH: Wind turbines are noisy
FACT: The offshore wind turbines 3.6 miles away will never be heard from the beach. An operating modern wind farm at a distance of 750 to 1000 feet is comparable to the noise of a kitchen refrigerator. The sound turbines produce is similar to a light whooshing or swishing sound, and much more quiet than other types of modern-day equipment.

MYTH: The Wind Park will generate only an insignificant portion of electricity

FACT: The 40 turbines of the 140 Megawatt (MW) Wind Park will generate enough pollution-free electricity to power the equivalent of 44,000 average Long Island homes, year after year, for decades to come. This is a significant first step for using clean, safe renewable energy on LI. To put this in perspective, there are now only about 700 Long Island homes generating electricity with solar panels. While offshore wind turbines are common in Europe, the Long Island project could be America’s first offshore Wind Park, a significant leap forward for our national energy policy.

MYTH: Wind energy is heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars
FACT: Every energy technology is subsidized. Wind energy is no exception. In the federal 2007 presidential Department of Energy budget only 0.2% of the budget went to subsidizing wind energy. Much more money went to subsidize fossil fuels and nuclear power. The largest benefit of wind is invisible. All of society must pay the price for dirty air, polluted water, health costs, global warming, fuel spills, and cleanup and disposal of fuel bypr oducts attributed to traditional energy sources. Clean, renewable, domestic wind energy produces no emissions, requires no fuel and the cost is fixed and predictable over time.

MYTH: The Wind Park will not have a thorough review process
FACT: The wind park will have an extensive federal and state environmental and regulatory review processes. As part of this rigorous review the public will have many opportunities to ask questions, obtain answers, raise issues, and provide comments. The United States Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) is the lead agency and is requiring a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We are in the early stages called the “Scoping Process”. This is the first step to decide what studies should be done for the EIS.

MYTH: The Wind Park will destroy the view from the beaches
FACT: The turbines will be 3.6 to 5.5 miles from shore and will be visible on clear days from the beach. Turbines will not be visible in haze, fog and other conditions that is present approximately 50% of the summertime. The wind park will occupy a small part of the vast horizon.

Download the Myths & Facts Flyer
The WindWorks Long Island “Myths & Facts” flyer can be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file by clicking on the link below:

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