Ocean City Today

Solid objections, but little impact

May 11, 2017



printed 05/12/2017


That, as they say, is that. The Maryland Public Service Commission has issued its decision and there’s not much the Town of Ocean City can do about it.

It remains, however, that a big step remains before anyone in Ocean City will see turbines turning off the coast — these things have to be built first.

A safe guess is that will take quite some time, as the federal vetting process still awaits, not to mention the business of rounding up the millions and millions of dollars wind farm developers Skipjack and U.S. Wind will need to enter the construction stage.

The materials alone, U.S. Wind officials ventured when the City Council called on it to move farther offshore, run about $1 million a mile.

The companies’ plans also assume they will be able to make money with these projects, which is not a given considering that a great deal can happen between this point and whenever the first piling is scheduled to be driven into the ocean floor.

Even then, in a report in last week’s real estate section of this newspaper quoted a Block Island, Rhode Island Realtor, who said the nation’s first offshore wind farm there has had no impact on real estate values. Likewise, declared a Realtor from Hawaii, where land-based turbines are well within view of prime real estate there.

Just because the PSC ignored Ocean City’s concerns doesn’t mean the end is near. If these projects ever do happen, the view will be different, but the economy won’t collapse, visitors won’t stop coming to the resort, and business will proceed as usual.

This isn’t to say that all objections to these installations are meritless. Obviously, some real concerns do exist, but apparently, they weren’t strong enough to sway the PSC.

In the meantime, this is one of those situations where we must wait and see what, if anything at all, happens.


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