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Coos County fights offshore wind energy project

Wind turbines offshore in the Atlantic Ocean are similar to the ones slated for the Oregon Coast . (BOEM)

Posted on June 10, 2024

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) held a meeting this week on the topic of the offshore wind energy project.

DLCD gave the public an opportunity to speak on the proposed project; however BOEM has been avoiding any public interface on comments.

Everyone that attended the meeting was opposed to the project, due to the unknown effects from vibrations from the windmills transmitting into the water, electromagnetism, and the effects that they will have on the bird populations as well as the local sea life.

The Coos County Board of Commissioners also spoke out against the project.

“It’s a bad idea, it’s bad for the environment, it’s bad for the people, its bad for wildlife, it’s bad for the fishing industry it’s just a bad idea,” says Coos County Commissioner Rod Taylor

The windmills will be several miles offshore, 1,000 feet tall, and sunk 4,000 feet deep into the sea bed.

There are also engineering concerns with the project, as giant drills will screw into the Cascadia Subduction Zone where winds can reach up to 100 miles an hour and waves up to 26 feet tall.

When windmills are placed on land it is easier to perform maintenance, however many difficulties remain when they are placed in the ocean.

On average, only 30% of the windmills are operational at one time. The rest of them would be under maintenance.

The other issue is that the windmills will not bring as much energy as the public had hoped.

“Massive investors can access massive government funds that belong to our grandchildren in order to finance a project that’s unfeasible, that’s not going to produce the amount of electricity they say that it’s going to,” says Taylor.

BOEM recently made a lease proposal for a wind energy area the size of Coos County which will be about 30 or 40 miles off the coast.

If the project continues, Coos County will continue to oppose it.

“They’ve got a major problem that they need to overcome and that’s even before people go and start blocking the road to keep the construction from happening because I think that’s ultimately where it goes. If they continue to push, Coos County doesn’t want it and we will shut it down,” says Taylor.

There is no firm timeline on when the project will be finished.


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