#Environment
Target:
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND
Region:
United States of America

The coastal community of Ocean City MD, including, Commercial fishermen, for hire, and recreational fishermen and boaters have been meeting with various representatives regarding the Wind Energy Area for almost 10 years. The wind developers have expressed an interest in working together and have continued to provide updates and insist that we will continue to have access to the area before, during, and after construction and that it will have minimal impact on our ability to access the Wind Energy Area. This has not been the case and it is commonly believed that we will not have access to the wind energy area in the future.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND

Andrew Johnston, Executive Secretary
Maryland Public Service Commission
6 Saint Paul Street, 16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202-6806

Regarding CASE NO. 9666

This letter indicates our objection to the award of any additional Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (OREC) for the Wind Energy Areas named MarWin/Momentum and Skipjack that are currently leased by U.S. Wind and Orsted respectively.

Our objection is based on the following reasons:

Commercial Fishing - The wind energy areas are being developed over productive fishing grounds that have been used for decades to harvest various fish and shellfish species. To this point the commercial fishing community has been told by representatives from US Wind and the fisheries liaisons that the wind farm developers would work with commercial fishermen to coexist in the same area. Unfortunately those words have not amounted to action over years. As of November 1st, 2021, the fishing community experienced another interaction between the wind farm survey vessel Miss Emma McCall and the F/V Allison, during this encounter the survey vessel destroyed fixed fishing gear by running it over even while they were being advised of their actions. It has become apparent, with the example of this incident, that the wind energy companies do not have regard for the commercial fishing industry.

Environmental Impact – It is certain that Offshore Wind Farms will harm the Delaware and Maryland coastal environments, the impacts will include the protected horseshoe crab migration and breeding grounds as the wind energy areas are within the Carl N. Schuster horseshoe crab sanctuary, whale migration including the right whale, many crustaceans that cannot simply move out of the way of construction such as the whelk, clam, mussel, and many other animals that live in this environment.

For Hire Recreational and Recreational Fishing - These wind farms will create a navigational hazard for all vessels.  It's not a question of "if," but "when" a vessel allides with a windmill or a fishing vessel interferes with underwater cables. Orstead and U.S. Wind could lobby to have the wind farms closed to all fishing vessel traffic.  If so, all fisherman will lose highly valuable and traditional fishing grounds.

Neither firm has demonstrated that they are even capable of responsibly constructing their small first round OREC projects, why should they be entrusted with more subsides to build something three times that size?

As an interested party and a Maryland electric rate payer please note my objection to awarding any additional ORECs to either Orsted or US Wind.

Regards

The NO MORE ORECS for MarWin/Momentum or Skipjack petition to PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND was written by Vince Cannuli and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.