What wind farms off NJ shore will look like – will tourism die?
There’s a battle brewing in New Jersey. Trouble in the heartland as Bruce would say. It’s not a battle over the gas tax or over property taxes or any of the things we’ve thought about a lot. In fact this battle is over something we’ve barely thought about at all.
Giant wind turbines hundreds of feet tall built offshore in the Atlantic Ocean to provide clean energy. Governor Murphy had pushed an agenda to bring 7,500 megawatts of energy to the Garden State by 2035. Joe Biden recently announced a major push for offshore wind farms. The White House said the initiative would bring 66,000 more construction jobs than were lost by the president’s halting of the Keystone pipeline project.
But there’s a problem.
Save Our Shoreline NJ is a group worried about the impact on tourism. They feel the sight of a wind farm out in the ocean will kill tourism at the Jersey Shore. An online petition they started already has 6,000 signatures. A Facebook group already has 4,000 members. It’s getting noticed.
Do they have a point? One of the big projects drawing the most controversy is Ocean Wind proposed in part by PSE&G. It will be 100 wind turbines each 900 feet tall and built 15 miles southeast of Atlantic City. That’s Ocean City territory. And they’re concerned.
Take a look at this simulation video offered by project planners that is meant to show what this wind farm will look like from the beach on a clear day.
Now ask yourself if this is enough to make you move on to another beach. Is it too much of an eyesore? Is it perhaps not what you’re used to when you look for a peaceful horizon over the ocean but something you’d quickly get accustomed to?
“Our beaches are beautiful in New Jersey. They’re truly nature’s gift. The solace that people come here for is such an intrinsic part of who we are,” Suzanne Hornick, a member of Save Our Shoreline NJ, told nj.com. “No one comes to the beaches because they want to look at wind turbines.”
Personally the ocean would still be beautiful to me. Distant ships and banner planes don’t ruin it for me now. Nor does other people’s loud music. Or their littering. I think I could live with this if it’s bringing about solutions.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.