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Offshore Wind Requires Large Onshore Maintenance Facility in Ocean City Harbor

by Carol Frazier


You will be beyond horrified by US Wind’s plans to build an “Operating & Maintenance Facility” at the Ocean City Harbor in Maryland. US Wind’s proposed plan is to start with 22 wind turbines at 900+ feet tall off the shore of Ocean City. To build and maintain the wind turbines, an onshore facility must be built to facilitate the wind turbine construction and all future maintenance.

 

Currently, the facility is scheduled to house:

 

Wind Turbine Parts

Up to 4 Crew Transfer Ships

On-loading and off-loading equipment

A Turbine repair vessel

Marine Activity Monitoring vessels

 

Have you seen the proposed plans which show enormous changes to our small commercial harbor? This is not a pier rebuild and extension application, the plans call for a 550’ long x 30’ & 32’ wide pier jettisoning out into Sinepuxent Bay and consuming much of what small amount of navigable water is there. Just this part of the pier is 6,520 sq. ft. and that is not all there is, along the area in front of the property east of Martin’s seafood they want a 75’ floating dock with a pier and adjacent to that 175’x4’ concrete wharf. The intrusion into the harbor is mind boggling. Look up offshore wind transfer vessels and you will see they range from 50’ to over 80’. Below is an example, this is very much like a cruise ship pier.

 



Take a trip to West Ocean City to fully understand the full ramifications of the government’s proposal. The current commercial harbor is only 200’ wide; there is no parking. The area in question is surrounded by multi-million-dollar homes whose value will be destroyed if this industrial sized renovation takes place.



Think about the size of the turbines, they are 900+ feet tall. How does anyone think the 18 wheelers needed to deliver parts for machines this large will ever navigate West Ocean City?

 

It is doubtful the local citizens can even conceive of the effect this will have on our harbor, commercial and recreational fishing and the locally owned restaurants.

 

You have a say! There is a public hearing on Monday March 25th at 5:30 pm at Wor Wic Community College, Fulton-Owen Hall at 6:00pm regarding this plan.  Come to the hearing and let your voice be heard. This is your chance to let US Wind hear your opinion on this massive construction project onshore and offshore here in Maryland.

 

Let’s close with this tidbit; when a friend asked Mr. Simmons, who is a Natural Resource Planner for the State of Maryland, what the role of the County would be in this decision, he said the approval process is such that the Federal Government would approve and then the state would issue an approval and then “the county will fall in line”. Nice, huh?

 

You can send your comments to robertm.simmons@maryland.gov. Please send them as soon as possible.

 

Carol Frazier

 

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