Fenwick Drafts Offshore Wind Letter

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials say they will continue to draft a letter of opposition concerning offshore wind projects off the coast.

Last Friday, members of the Fenwick Island Town Council had before them a request from the Fenwick Island Environmental Committee to send a letter to state legislators regarding wind turbines being proposed off the coast of Delaware. Vicki Carmean, committee member, said the missive will highlight the town’s concerns regarding offshore wind projects and the impact those projects could have on surrounding communities.

“There’s not much we can actually do except keep the problem in front of people and make them aware of what the consequences will be if these wind turbines go into our waters …,” she said. “We just want to keep them abreast of the latest developments in wind turbines and why we’re opposed to them.”

In a presentation last week, Carmean said the town’s environmental committee had drafted a letter of opposition in April, but that the letter was now being presented to the town council for approval. She noted, however, that there have been new developments since that time and that the letter would be updated to reflect those changes.

“The letter you probably have is a little dated because it was done in April,” she said. “Since then, some things have changed. We would like permission to continue sending these letters out.”

Mayor Natalie Magdeburger agreed that the letter could be sent, so long as it was reviewed and approved by the committee. She noted that Fenwick Island is not the only coastal town taking efforts to oppose offshore wind projects. She added that the Town of Ocean City recently commissioned a firm to review plans for an offshore wind project.

“My guess is that is going to be a rather robust, rigorous and truly scientific study,” she said.

Committee member Susan Brennan said the news of Ocean City’s actions came after members of the environmental committee met to draft its letter. She suggested Ocean City’s efforts be included.

“We should tailor it more to what Ocean City is now doing,” she said.

After further discussion, the council agreed to table the request until the committee’s letter could be updated to include additional information.

“We’ll table this because I don’t think there’s anything to vote on,” Magdeburger said.

Currently, offshore wind projects spearheaded by US Wind and Ørsted are currently making their way through the federal review process with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Both companies report their projects are expected to generate thousands of megawatts of clean energy and hundreds of jobs.

“No one is against green energy,” Carmean said last week. “We just want it to be sensible.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.