Bay State Wind can learn from the challenges US offshore wind energy developers have already faced. Offshore wind critics fear adverse impacts on wildlife, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, and on birds and bats, which could fly into the spinning turbine blades (EERE). Fortunately, MassCEC and BOEM have determined that the threat to endangered species within the site is not worrisome. Other concerns raised by researchers include seabed disturbances, effects of noise and vibrations on organisms, and the risk of displaced species (UMCES). Thus, a preliminary geophysical survey is often required of the developer and may include several years of data collection and assessment on seabed conditions, allowing developers to identify the proper siting of offshore wind turbines. Despite technological advances and recent research, little is known about the long-term environmental impacts of offshore energy (Bailey et al.). Local and state governments enforce numerous mitigation strategies—including ecosystem research and careful siting of wind facilities prior to construction. Bay State Wind will follow these guidelines, intending to minimize any complications or detrimental impacts to the surrounding environment.
Project managers must also address social, economic and political factors. In addition to conducting marine studies, developers must involve the public and local communities in an extensive review and an impact assessment prior to obtaining the lease. It is essential that the projects consider the historical significance of the location and gain support from local communities (Rule 139). Additionally, locals are often concerned about negative site-specific effects, such as he...
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... power, this alternative form of energy has become increasingly popular, inspiring energy companies to design new projects. DONG Energy’s entrance into the U.S. offshore wind market “inspires fresh confidence about the future of the U.S. offshore wind industry” (NREL). In addition to their experience, DONG Energy has great support from the BOEM and MassCEC, who have conducted research to expedite permitting and construction. Offshore wind offers the largest potential source of clean energy for MA, with the ability to power more than half the homes in the state and boost economic activity. Furthermore, these projects are feasible and economical due to shallower Atlantic waters. Due to the U.S.’s “Smart from the Start” initiative and the development of innovative wind turbine and foundation technologies, wind power projects are expected to increase nationally (BOEM).
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