The magical quality that lures so many creative, free thinking individuals to The Vineyard can positively influence the future of sustainable marine energy.
Did you know that Edgartown holds a Tidal Power permit for use in the Muskeget Channel?
This project sits fallow while Vineyard Wind gets all the hype.
Yet, in your heart of hearts, you all know that Vineyard Wind will never benefit anyone but GE and the lawyers.
You’re too smart to believe that offshore wind will ever achieve a positive carbon balance.
The pylons are steel, made using coal.
The service and maintenance vessels all run on fossil fuel.
The nacelle and blades are one form or another of petro chemical waste.
The list goes on.
You don’t have to be a scientific genius to see that this does not add up.
Do you want Martha’s Vineyard to be forever mentioned in the same breath as this ridiculously inconsiderate effort?
Ask yourself, “What possible reason is there for Vineyard Wind to proceed?”
Yes, I know it’s an enormous jobs project.
If you are one of those seeking gainful employ in the sustainable energy industry, think about this.
When you look back years from now, will your efforts have led to progress, or will your working life result in the specter of rusting offshore pylons, topped by useless machinery, with 300 foot long, ragged fiberglass strands whipping in the wind?
There are so many infrastructure jobs coming with the advent of sea level rise that any person living along our coasts can get a job.
If I am wrong about Vineyard Wind, and it turns into the greatest thing since sliced bread, I will be thrilled.
But, in light of the worst case scenario, let’s make the promoters explain themselves a little more thoroughly before it’s too late.
Housepaint gets more real world testing before going to market than the new GE whirlygigs have had.
The data presented so far tells me that offshore wind will never make your life better, just uglier.
That magical Martha’s Vineyard quality I mentioned earlier has always drawn exceptionally smart people to the island.
I challenge you to prove just how smart you are and work this out.
A place known everywhere on Earth as an intellectual haven is about to lend its name to something really stupid.
With that in mind, I offer Tidal Power as an alternative to Vineyard Wind.
What is the tide?
Did you ever wonder about that?
Simply put, it’s a bump on the ocean’s surface created by The Moon’s gravity.
This bump, or bulge, as it is called in the scientific literature, moves around planet Earth in synch with The Moon’s orbit.
The horizontal motion of the tide passing over the sea bottom exerts 800 times more force than does wind.
And, it never stops.
For all intents and purposes, The Moon is trying to suck the ocean off Earth’s surface.
Fortunately for us, Earth’s gravity is much greater than that of The Moon, and the ocean stays put.
So, when you see the tide rising at your favorite beach, The Moon is pulling the bulge toward shore, and vice versa when the tide goes out.
The tide’s interaction with the shoreline is the part we need to work on.
When the tide rises along a sloping coast, the water moves horizontally over the bottom as the water gets deeper.
The bulge, moving relentlessly around Earth’s surface, contains universal cosmic energy of a magnitude we have never fully understood.
I think it should be viewed like Atomic Energy.
Tidal Power is an incredible force, contained within our natural surroundings, waiting for us to tap in.
This time we can do it without first creating a weapon.
The energy is out there, right in front of our eyes, calling out to us.
Sea Level Rise is a heads up from nature, reminding us of the tide’s awesome power.
Yet we ignore it and foolishly stand at the shoreline, pissin’ into the wind, and shovelin’ shit against the tide.
Tidal Power is free perpetual energy.
Imagine harnessing that energy to generate electricity.
Zero fuel is consumed, not ever, not one drop.
We simply borrow the energy created by the motion of the ocean.
Remember, 800 times the horizontal force of wind, and it never stops.
If you are still with me, we’re getting closer to utilizing Tidal Power for the good of all humanity.
Hopefully, the creative intellects among island residents will work with me to harness the tide for good.
We can generate local interest and prove that my design will work in the Muskeget Channel.
Fresh young minds will be all over this alternative, coming up with previously unimagined ways to use the perpetual motion machine that runs offshore all day, every day.
Otherwise, Vineyard Wind may well cripple the island’s economy and leave behind an ungodly mess for future generations.
Ready whenever anyone else is.
Think about it!
It’s September 2025.
Progress is being made on Vineyard Wind.
Several units have been installed and are up and running, delivering electricity to The Cape and Islands.
Ocean warming is continuing along the US East Coast.
Hurricanes that used to weaken and go out to sea after passing Cape Hatteras no longer do so, allowing these storms to strengthen as they approach Massachusetts.
An extremely fierce hurricane is moving toward the Vineyard Wind location.
The completed generator units have feathered their blades and pointed into the wind, which will hit the 800 foot high nacelle with its 700 foot diameter blades at 120 MPH.
The wind will swirl, gust, and change direction 180 degrees as the hurricane passes.
There is no weathervane effect allowing the nacelle and blades to turn and harmlessly face the wind.
The water saturated wind will force the column into a reverse arc.
The blades will bend backwards and vibrate ferociously throughout the storm’s duration.
Weathervanes all have a vertical ‘tail’ to act as a rudder of sorts.
GE’s design has nothing of the sort.
What force could possibly turn the nacelle and move the blades around a center point?
The yaw motor, designed to aim the front into oncoming winds for maximum efficiency does not stand a chance of moving the entire contraption against the 120 MPH hurricane.
The pressure against the blades and column will be changing direction and creating ever increasing shear from the windward side.
What do you think will happen to the nacelle and blades over the time it takes for the hurricane to pass?
I picture a corkscrew effect on the column, with blades disintegrating into shredded fiberglass, and eventual destruction of the column and the nacelle as the forces of nature have their way with this device.
Remember, none of the successful offshore winds farms in northern Europe and UK have ever faced a steady diet of seasonal hurricanes, and none of the individual units have ever been anywhere near as large.
Add the fact that none of the previous East Coast hurricanes have ever been as strong as those on the horizon.
And no comparison can be made with onshore installations.
It’s an entirely different kettle of fish.
Moving right along…
The storm passes and bankruptcies ensue as insurers bail on their policies, leaving rusted columns and shredded fiberglass whipping in the wind.
Who will clean it up and absorb the cost?
Kindly explain how Vineyard Wind is going to confront this issue before it is too late.
Don’t get me wrong.
I want sustainable energy projects to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I do not believe you can get past this obstacle.
The offshore wind industry is not a solution to our future energy problems.
In fairness, this link takes you to National Academy of Sciences assessment of hurricane risk. Dated 2012. I cannot find anything newer that is not industry related and therefore slanted in favor of offshore wind.
Even the most favorable findings show some probability of collapsing turbines. And none factor in the increasing strength we know is coming as ocean warming fuels bigger storms.
There still has not been any real world testing of these probabilities for the latest GE/Orsted devices, favorable or not.
That said, in response, I offer Tidal Power.
It was only a few years ago that GE was touting their generators for use on the seabed, but the political climate changed and offshore wind caught on.
GE’s beliefs and policies apparently change to whichever way the wind blows.
We all know how that story turns out.
All that said, whatchagonnado?
As for the jobs aspect, not to worry.
The advent of sea level rise will provide all the coastal construction and tech jobs anyone could ever want in the same sector and time frame as offshore wind.
Especially if we start pursuing the issue with the same zeal we currently show for offshore wind.
So stopping Vineyard Wind may be a messy blip on the screen, but nobody will be deprived of the opportunity to make a living as a marine contractor, or fabricator, or technician, etc, etc.
Stay Tuned…there’s much more still to come…!!!
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