A national offshore wind energy development company is making its case to Delaware’s coastal towns.
US Wind, Inc. recently presented a package of community benefits for Delaware’s coastal residents to the Delaware Association of Coastal Towns.
The community benefits package includes a stream of annual payments over 20 years, worth $2 million dollars to each town.
The payments would begin if and when US Wind begins construction on its first project, MarWin.
Those payments are just peanuts, said David Stevenson, director of the Center for Energy & Environment at the Caesar Rodney Institute.
“The visual blight of industrial size offshore wind turbines will dominate the horizon, especially blinking lights at night, according to federal agencies responsible for approving projects,” he said.
That will result in lost tourism and lost property values, Stevenson said.
“US Wind is offering a $100,000 per year payment to five Delaware beach towns to encourage tourism, apparently to offset potential lost tourism,” he said. “The Delaware Tourism Report estimates beach tourism was about $2.7 billion in 2021. Just a 1% loss totals $27 million a year. Fifty New Jersey Beach towns successfully fought back to stop a similar project.”
He questioned why “Delaware beach towns are rolling over for peanuts.”
“We expect to deliver clean offshore wind power to the Delmarva region for a long time ,” said Jeffrey Grybowski, chief executive officer of US Wind.
As a member of this community, he said, the company believes it’s important to do what it can to help it thrive.
That association of coastal towns includes the communities of Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and South Bethany.
US Wind is the leading offshore wind developer in Delmarva, controlling the rights to an 80,000-acre lease area located off the coast of Delmarva, which is able to support approximately 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy.
US Wind has two contracted projects off the coast of Ocean City – MarWin and Momentum Wind – able to deliver almost 1,100 megawatts of clean energy, and excess capacity in the lease area to accommodate a third project.
“These coastal towns are important to the state of Delaware and beloved by those who enjoy them,” Grybowski said. “US Wind is committed to contributing to their continued health and resilience.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently issued a statement assessing the potential impacts from developing the lease area, and US Wind’s plans to mitigate or avoid those impacts.
The bureau is expected to issue a decision to approve or disapprove those plans by October.
Caesar Rodney Institute issued a six-page critique in response to the benefits proposal.
Read the full report here.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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