Off Shore Windmills [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Off Shore Windmills

03-06-2002, 09:20 PM
Did anyone else here about the possibility of a "field" of energy generating windmills proposed for Nantucket Sound?

NPR had a sound bite about a group seeking to obtain a large parcel of ocean on a shoal 5 miles off Cape Cod. They may in fact receive the land for free becuase it is in Federal water.

Regardless, they want to build several dozen of the largest windmills ever constructed. Supposedly there was some sort of public hearing today(the first of many from the sound of it). This is something we may want to adopt as a pet project. I can't imagine how ugly this project may make the waters most of us call home.


Bob Pink
03-06-2002, 09:47 PM
It's been a hot topic on the cape for the past year. The proposed location is called Horseshoe Shoal, it's historicaly been a good bluefish grounds but I haven't fished it for years. Too shallow to be considered 'navigable' so the proposed installation wouldn't be a commercial traffic hazard.

Regarding it's merits; I think we'd all agree on the merits of bringing on-line an environmentally safe way to produce commercial energy. Wind farms have proven themselves for the past 20+ years in the hills of California and in a curious way the windmill is an icon of the historic Cape Cod. I wonder if the local opposition is rooted in the NIMBY mentality or if there are some possible unpublicized hazards. As far as it's effects on the mid-sound fishery, I'd guess that anything that added 'structure' to already fertile waters would create habitat and improve the fishery. Cetainly a much different type of installation from the Gulf Coast type oil rig but I think examples can be drawn.
The aestheics if the installation are imposing but, they are 4 - 5 miles offshore. I don't see them driving anybody away because they are ugly to look at. (But, this is from a guy who used to flyfish in the marshgrass alongside Logan Airport. Had to wear earplugs!)

Bottom line for me is that they are a non-polluting energy source that can be brought on-line with exisitng technology. Since we are unlikely to curb our appetites for energy { excuse me while I answer the cell phone and go turn off the big-screen TV ;) } then we need to be considering more renewable non-polluting sources like these. The wind farm may not turn out to be the best solution but it's definitly worth a trial.

just my $ 0.02

Tod D
03-06-2002, 09:54 PM
Believe there was a public hearing tonight in W Yarmouth

I'd add up front that while I have been following this story via the news, I'm not in anyway near the 'front lines' of the debate. Windmills as a potential source of environmentally friendly, renewal energy isn't particularly new. Certainly it's pretty new on this particular scale, but imho it's probably a great deal more benign that certain proposals coursing through congress right now to open up the ANWR to drilling for oil.

Ok, ok, I've belied my political leanings. Just make sure they don't put no stinkin' windmills in Plymouth or Duxbury Bay!

03-07-2002, 06:18 AM
Good points being made here but I have a concern about placing them on Horseshoe. What we might deem 'useless' by our self-serving human standards is a bustling habitat for hundreds of species including forage species, flatfish, stripers, etc. Since sound and vibration carries many times more in water than land, I would be concerned about the effect the vibration, noise, and disruptive light show over such a large area from the props would cause to the habitat. They are talking about some giant parcel of shoal area if I understand correctly. 24/7 noise, light disruption, vibration - are all forms of pollution.

Why don't we put them on dry land so we have to sleep in the bed we make? I'll bet we can put them on Otis AFB without anyone complaining, and at a mere fraction of the cost.

I say put them on Otis, we'll never see access to that huge chunk of primo real estate anyway. Let's stop polluting the ocean any more than we need to.


Tod D
03-07-2002, 07:10 AM
Juro - excellent points. Had a lively discussion w/ a friend during this morning's commute & he suggested a similar idea. Face value, seems to make a whole lot of sense.

Again, don't profess to understand the implications placing the windmills on the shoals, etc. & your points are certainly good food for thought.

03-07-2002, 08:54 PM
What about corrosion?

Take your most advanced, overpriced, technological wonder of a fly reel, dip it in the ocean, and leave it to dry in the sun for a day.

You now have an advanced, overpriced technological wonder of a paper weight.

What makes them think that these windmills won't rust, ceasing to funtion? Also, as they deteriorate will the oils/synthetic lubricants leak onto the shoals?

As for the distance from shore, these windmills are supposed to be 400 ft. high, and they want to build 170 of them. I can see MV from the Cape and I'm guessing there aren't many points at which the land is 400 ft. above sea level.

In their defense, the position they have chosen for the windmills is always quite breezy. In fact, they have determined that the wind is actually strongest and most consistent at the times of "peak" power demand in this area. That, at least, makes sense to me.


07-19-2002, 01:57 PM
for Board members review. (Good idea Juro.) After reading the above I think I'd like to change my vote!