10/23/2014

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Public input sought on proposed floating wind farm off Oregon Coast

Public input sought on proposed floating wind farm off Oregon Coast

COOS BAY, Ore. - Alternative energy industries have set their sights on the South Coast.

Many people are skeptical how projects like a floating wind farm will affect nearby people and animals.

A floating wind energy farm proposed off the coast of Coos Bay is under review.

"This project is a little outside of the crab grounds," said Hugh Link with the Dungeness Crab Commission, "but we're also concerned for other fisheries and for the maritime safety."

Some people have questions about both the wind project and the Jordan Cove liquified natural gas terminal.

"It's very hard to see how a meaningful analysis of the combined impact of those projects can be done at the same time," said concern citizen Ron Sadler.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was in Coos Bay this week seeking public comment.

Last month, the demonstration project secured federal funding for its efforts, one of only three projects in the country and first on the West Coast eligible to receive up to $47 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to speed up the process.
    
The company, Principle Power, plans to generate electricity from wind turbines floating in water more than a thousand feet deep.

"It's seems like there is less environmental interaction out that far from shore and in water that's that deep, we think that there's less fishing activity that far out," said Kevin Banister, Principle Power VP.

The project would use WindFloat technology and would be the first in the nation to use a floating structure.

Principle Power already has a similar farm off the coast in Portugal.
 
An environmental assessment analyzing the projects potential impacts is being prepared and officials are asking for community input.
               
The public has until July 28 to give their input on the project.

Comment on the project:

Through the federal portal www.regulations.gov, reference docket number BOEM-2014-0050;

Through the BOEM website

Through letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service or other delivery service:

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Pacific OCS Region
Attention: Greg Sanders, Office of the Environment
770 Paseo Camarillo, 2nd Floor
Camarillo, California 93010

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