Offshore wind farm proposed near Morro Bay

March 13, 2016

Offshore wind turbinesCorrection: While the long blade turbines are being designed in the United States, it is not currently part of the Morro Bay project.

A plan to build a wind facility off the coast of Morro Bay  is currently moving through the regulatory process. Trident Winds is seeking to place 100 floating wind turbines 15 miles off the Central California coastline. [LA Times]

There are more than 70 offshore wind farms in the world, with the largest number in Europe. However, the Morro Bay offshore wind facility would be the first in California.

While today’s longest wind turbine blades are 262.5 feet, a group is working on developing blades of 656.1 feet. Because of the size of the blades, the height of the the tower is estimated to rise 1,574 feet, or nearly one-third of a mile.

At a cost of $3.5 million, the U.S. Energy Department is funding the development of project’s technology through its Advanced Research Projects Agency energy program. A team of four universities and two national laboratories has three years to build and test a scaled prototype, which is to have two blades instead of the standard three blade turbines, in order to move forward with the offshore wind farm.


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abigchocoholic

Wind farms are ugly and mar the viewscape.

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Where do people get this from? I personally think windfarms are some of the coolest things to look at. Going through Palm Springs–the wind farms are incredible. So much fun to look at. Going through the Altamont pass–the wind farm is incredible looking. (Living next to one would be a different story because of the noise.)


What’s the big deal about looking at windmills? How are they possibly ugly and a mar on a flat ocean? And don’t people say the same thing about solar? “Oh, solar on the roof is so ugly!” Why? As if looking at shingles is beautiful? I happen to think the shiny panels on people’s roofs are an improvement over shingles.


Windmills and solar are human accomplishments to be proud of. Just compare the Altamont pass windfarm to the Martinez oil refinery up the road. Which would you rather look at? To me there’s no comparison. And I’d rather look at windmills in the ocean than just a blank ocean or windmills on a hill rather than just a barren hill.


Kaiser Bill

Yes I would rather see miles of industrial wind turbines instead of an untrammeled desert.


We need more Hydro.


r0y

Hydro!? Just because something has been around for hundreds of years and works, doesn’t mean we should stick with it! ;-)


Kaiser Bill

Do you have a better solution than hydro?


Nuclear? Nuclear waste that has a half life of thousands of years sitting around. Potential for nuclear meltdowns like Chernobyl, Fukushima.


Wind and Solar? Takes up huge amounts of land, both are ugly and destroy views, both do not generate much electricity.


Fossil fuels? Pollutes the Earth.


Geothermal? Some potential there.


What is a better solution for energy needs than Hydro?


TaxMeAgain

The only source of power more expensive than wind power (rotating machinery at elevation) will be THIS design…rotating machinery at elevation over a salty ocean. Maintenance costs will be astronomical.


kettle

That is funny, you must be smarter than the experts in many countries because it’s been done for many years or were you making your wind generators out of rusty iron?


TaxMeAgain
kettle

From your link: Editor’s note: The author of this piece, Randy Simmons, is the Charles G. Koch professor of political economy at Utah State University. He’s also a senior fellow at the Koch- and ExxonMobil-funded Property and Environment Research Center. These ties to the oil industry weren’t originally disclosed in this piece.


Lol, you put that up as reliable information, Koch funded propaganda?


At the end of 2014 the us had 65,754 MW of capacity, in 1997 it was 1637 MW people really need to keep up with current information as wind power is a mature tech and in use all over the world.


TaxMeAgain

What do you see as an exaggeration or untruth in the article? Stick to facts and discontinue attacking people and you will go far.


kettle

It’s a fact that It is anti wind propaganda opinion from “Mr. Koch, a billionaire industrialist who made his fortune in fossil fuels”


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/us/koch-brother-wages-12-year-fight-over-wind-farm.html?_r=0


http://www.salon.com/2014/11/07/koch_brothers_waste_absolutely_no_time_going_after_wind_energy/


But you can believe whatever you want, it will not stop the advance of alternate energy.


You can have your own opinion (like what Koch paid for), you do not get your own facts.


TaxMeAgain

These will be visible from shore. Do the math. Visible AND moving. Take your sunset pictures now, folks.


kettle

Be sure to stand where the Morro Bay Smoke Stacks are not in your picture.


Perspicacious

If they were smart they would fill the entire area with drilling rigs and put the wind turbines on the rigs. Kill two birds with one stone…I’m in. Where do I invest?


sloweb

You mean kill a bunch of birds with one blade! Bird lovers frequently protest wind turbines because they occasionally kill birds.


TWEEKSBALMER

Just harness the wind coming from our local politicians and we’ll have power to sell!


kettle

Wouldn’t that be more of a biogas type of resource, all that methane.


pigsrule

The only thing windmills are efficient at is killing birds. At least it will keep the estuaries in Morro Bay from filling up with pesky birds.


SLO_Johnny

Maintaining the wind turbines in a marine environment is a huge problem along with installing the underwater electrical lines and transformers. There will also be onshore facilities to tie into the existing grid. The turbines can only operate within a given wind speed range. Floating turbines are even more challenging and expensive. This area is more attractive because we don’t have tornadoes or hurricane/typhoon winds but the ocean floor drops quite steeply.


NorthCountyGuy

Wind farms are not practical nor economically viable.


There isn’t a single wind farm on the planet that is not a total waste of the taxpayer’s money.


kettle

You have no idea what you are talking about.


“There isn’t a single wind farm on the planet that is not a total waste of the taxpayer’s money. ”

100% wrong, go tell Texas, Denmark, Germany etc they don’t work, lol.


Perspicacious

Read his post. He said they are not economically viable. He didn’t say they “didn’t work”…depending on your definition of “work”. They NEVER recoup the cost of construction and development. Look it up.


Kaiser Bill

Wind farms are ugly and mar the viewscape.


Exactly what Morro Bay needs right after the old 50s era power plant with its billowing smoke stacks closed. Hundreds of wind farms off the coast.


How many birds will die because of this massive wind farm?


What disruption will the wind farm cause for fishing and marine life.


We need more hydro power.


Harness hydro power from British Columbia if necessary. Canada can sell the power to the USA. This is already done in Quebec and the East Coast.


BeenThereDoneThat

Ah just the kind of mass hysteria I expected to be stirred up. In your ignorance to complain about seeing it you forgot one thing. At sea level you can only see 2.65 miles at 5′. To be able to see them you would have to be about 230 feet above sea level. Sorry to ruin your complaint with facts!!!


So the REALITY is it won’t be seen from most places in and around Morro Bay. What else you got?


As far as hydro power, we have a certain political party in this state that not only doesn’t want but has also been trying to find ways to tear some down. Hetch hetchy is one.


pigsrule

Only those standing on the sand at the beach would not be able to see … THE BOTTOM OF THE WINDMILL. The windmills will stand one-third of a mile in the air and combined with the fact that most people will be viewing them from rises and hills – well they will be the biggest eyesore the Central Coast has ever seen. And everyone will see them most clearly.


At least they will trim the bird turd count on Morro Rock. And won’t that be a sight when the low fog rolls in and the only thing you’ll see is the rock and windmills. Lovely.


BeenThereDoneThat

With the individual blades and round support column, you won’t see much at 15 miles.


BeenThereDoneThat

Here is the part that KILLS me. All the whiners. I don’t want coal………dirty. I don’t want nuclear power………dangerous. I don’t want wind farms………ugly. I don’t want oil derricks……….to unsightly. I don’t want dams…………hurts fish. I don’t want solar farms…………to big and effects wild life. I don’t want natural gas……….. as the pipes delivery can dangerous.


SO in all the ridicules infinite wisdom will someone tell me then, WTF are we suppose to use????


Francesca Bolognini

That is an excellent question. Answer: Freidberg Germany is an experimental town that runs on solar power. The structures all generate more power than they use (in GERMANY, where there is a lot less sun than we have) and there are now structures there that make 4X the amount of power they consume. Perhaps we could skip over all the sources that have larger draw backs and go straight to whatever they are using. I doubt it would be more expensive than any of the alternatives you have listed and the cleanup costs would be zero, along with a much longer unit life (many panels are now over 20 yrs old) and no environmantal cleanup or wildlife casualties. Just a thought. Our county had the largest solar supplier in the world for some time, now we are falling behind other countries. No good reason, besides corruption, for that. Solar is an up and coming industry with good jobs.


Another thought is that the US Navy announced that it is perfecting jet fuel made from sea water. It is proposed to come on line in about 3 years and cost around $3, as in competitive with gasoline. Welcome to the future. It is ours, if we have the will to make it haappen.


tomsquawk

Solar will be compromised by the PUC and the Utilities


BeenThereDoneThat

I understand the solar but you missed my comment on solar. When they went to put in the two large farms in Carriso Plains, here came all the arguments of………….the kit fox and this wildlife and that wildlife.


It also isn’t a case of will. We come up with new ideas and people right away find something they don’t like about it and start whining about it.


hijinks

How about pig manure?


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea don’t think they could produce enough. Also going back to whiners, the whiners have already complained about to much cattle and all the supposed methane released, so scratch that.


EducateDistrict3

“WTF are we suppose to use????”


CONTRACEPTION.


BeenThereDoneThat

Ah the glib comment. Your answer doesn’t do anything to solve the prospect of energy. Yea limit kids, blah blah blah. We have an immediate problem.


Kaiser Bill

I said harness hydro power for BC, Canada and bring it down the West Coast. Similar to what is done in Quebec and the East Coast. You did not address that.


Others have already addressed your misinformation about the view scape.


BeenThereDoneThat

O.k. bring down with INFRASTRUCTURE=$$$$$$$$$$$$ Also all those towers people could complain about the view from that??


BeenThereDoneThat

Oh and one more thought, most of time with fog, even when it clears over Morro, it is still foggy at horizon and most likely the farm would be shrouded.


flicka47

So, you’re saying with the fog there “most likely” there isn’t enough wind to turn the blades?


BeenThereDoneThat

I’m not the one who did the study if the farm would work or not wind wise. I am commenting in regards to the view. Nice try at spin and redirect though.