Editorial: A hopeful wind-energy move to save the whales

December 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News


Originally published: December 18, 2012 5:05 PM
Updated: December 18, 2012 6:43 PM

Bades blur on a spinning windmill.

Photo credit: AP, 2009 | Bades blur on a spinning windmill.

Putting up wind energy towers in the ocean is a tough challenge. That includes making the towers strong enough to stand up to the ocean’s force, delivering the energy at a reasonable price, and protecting the ocean and its creatures.

Now a coalition of environmental groups and some major developers of wind energy have come to a voluntary agreement on how to modify the process of finding the best possible sites for the windmills, without disrupting the migratory patterns of right whales.

The agreement covers the general area of wind energy identified by the Obama administration from New Jersey through Virginia. It doesn’t deal with potential projects off Long Island, but one of the firms that’s a part of the agreement, Deepwater Wind, is working toward a 1,000-megawatt project 30 miles east of Montauk. It’s encouraging to see the company so willing to clear away obstacles. We hope it will act the same way right off the Island.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports both wind energy and the estimated 500 remaining right whales, praised the firms for moderating the impacts of setting up meteorological towers and exploring the ocean floor, to be more whale-friendly.

The agreement models a spirit of cooperation, not litigation. If it becomes the norm in the years ahead, it can help us reap the immense potential of wind energy to light our homes and cut our reliance on fossil fuels.

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