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Diva27 11-23-2007 10:18 AM

sailors and wind farms
 
I'm really curious to know what sailors think of wind farms, onshore or offshore. I'm working on a report right now for the Ontario Nature Federation (ON Nature), and I'll eventually get something up on the Georgian Bay cruising website. There are quite a few projects under way around the Great Lakes in Ontario, and some (heck, most) have run into controversy, mainly from property owners who really don't like the idea of looking at them or perhaps having to listen to them. My unscientific survey to date says sailors generally like the idea of them (they employ the wind, after all), but I would welcome feedback, especially from sailors out there who have actually encountered them in their area.
thanks

sailingdog 11-23-2007 10:28 AM

They're looking to put on in on Nantucket Sound, down my neck of the woods. I think wind farms, properly designed and implemented, are a good thing... but they'll need to clearly mark the individual wind gens on the charts, as they're a serious navigation hazard, much like the off-shore oil platforms down in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, depending on how large an area the wind farm covers, it might make sense to have them marked and lighted in such a manner that the different wind gens are clearly identifiable. If you've got 30-50 of these sticking up out of the water, it would be nice to be able to tell if you were at the first, the fifth or the fifteenth of them... and roughly how many you had left to get by, without having to try and guess from your DR position.

PBzeer 11-23-2007 10:36 AM

Biggest problem I've seen with wind farms, is everyone wants them, BUT, not where they can see them.

skfnek 11-23-2007 10:36 AM

We are absolutely infavor of the wind farms. We saw lots of them around west texas in ranchland. Now there is one slated for offshore Galveston, Tx where we now live. I have wondered how they will be marked and like the idea that SailingDog put forth about numbering North to South as a standard or something similar. We need all the renewable energy sources we can exploit, so we need to learn to compensate for the changes in our lifestyle.

SKFNEK sailing "Miss Guided" out of Galveston, Tx

sailingdog 11-23-2007 10:43 AM

The real reason I think the individual wind gens should be easily identifiable is that Nantucket Sound often gets some serious fog... and if you can't see the others, it would be nice to be able to use the wind gen as a navigation mark, and make it much easier for you to avoid hitting the others... since you'll have a much better chance of knowing where you are in relation to them, even in the fog.

Diva27 11-23-2007 11:06 AM

The Georgian Bay Association, which is a creature of waterfront property owners, is really lobbying hard not to have them along the bay's shore. Their own committee report actually downplays the whole sound issue, but they clearly just don't like the idea of looking at the things. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. There's a big battle right now on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ont., between shoreline property owners and rural landowners who want to lease land for wind farms.
Toronto has one big generator on the waterfront, not in the water. I think people generally like it, as it says something about clean energy. I don't know if they'd feel any differently if there was a whole farm, or if Humber bay was dotted with them. Cpn Malcom makes excellent points about visibility and safe navigation. Denmark has massive wind farms offshore, and I'm not sure how they've handled this issue.
My thanks to everyone for the prompt and thoughtful replies. This is going to be a big issue along our shores, where it isn't already.

AjariBonten 11-23-2007 11:09 AM

N I M B Y ........
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PBzeer (Post 226970)
Biggest problem I've seen with wind farms, is everyone wants them, BUT, not where they can see them.

Everybody want there to be an energy alternative; nobody wants to change anything about the way they live.

I know, a gross generalization; but true enough to be a PIA.

I think wind power is here to stay. It's the most viable alternative in the largest geographical part of the world. Solar may take precedence in some latitudes; but for most the sun is too shallow to be efficient enough. Also, it's the most proven, and technologically simple, alternative.

I don't want to start the "peak oil" debate; but for the purposes of this discussion let's agree that petroleum is a finite resource. IMHO it is too important for so many other uses that to burn it for energy more than absolutely needed is a tremendous waste.

Are there environmental impacts of wind generation?
Of course; everything has an impact on something.

Is wind the one true solution?
Of course not, it will be an important part (one of many) of our energy supply from here on in.

Giulietta 11-23-2007 11:14 AM

I don't mind them, and they will reduce our dependence in fossil fuel.

We have many many farms in my country and in our coasts.

The tree hugers tried to block, but none of their conclusions were proven...we built and are happy.

Besides, the wind is for everyone...GO WINDMILLS!!!!

sailingdog 11-23-2007 11:24 AM

ROFLMAO... I was wondering who the hell Cpn Malcom is... Just FYI, Captain Malcolm Reynolds isn't me... he's the captain of space-going tramp freighter named Serenity, in the short-lived TV series Firefly and the movie Serenity. I just loved the quote he says about starships...and thought it was equally applicable, with a bit of modification, to sailboats.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diva27 (Post 226993)
Cpn Malcom makes excellent points about visibility and safe navigation. Denmark has massive wind farms offshore, and I'm not sure how they've handled this issue.
My thanks to everyone for the prompt and thoughtful replies. This is going to be a big issue along our shores, where it isn't already.


TrueBlue 11-23-2007 11:24 AM

TPI, a fiberglass fabricator with a plant at our marina that also produces hulls for Pearson, JBoat and Alerion - among others, had a contract to produce vanes for a land based wind farm project a few years ago. I was amazed over the scale of these vanes, as hundreds of them were regularly trucked out on flat beds. The molds still sit in the boneyard behind the marina.

Some time after that the Dutch and Swedes constructed a massive offshore windfarm. The photos and videos from that project were used to educate the public by the group of private investors planning the Nantucket Sound project - the first of it's kind in the US.

For those who haven't yet seen the scale and magnitude of these things, check out some of these photos from the Dutch installation. The TPI project pales by comparison.

A promotional digitized image:



A series of actual construction photos:



















I agree that we need to consider all directions for reducing our dependance of foreign oil - but, I am ambivalent about it being in my back yard. There are similar discussions as Nantucket Sound, for an offshore installation off Newport RI - between Sakonnet and Sachuest Points, which would create some navigational hazard issues for all boaters - especially during typical fog conditions.

In spite of all the negativity though - it is a good thing.


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