Wind farm research presented to Government
A year-long research project into the potential for an offshore wind farm has revealed its findings.
The study highlighted potential conflicts with other ocean uses and ecological sensitivities, and identified possible locations for offshore developments.
The research was carried out by the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and entitled Offshore Wind Energy in the Context of Multiple Ocean Uses on the Bermuda Platform.
A final report has been presented for Minister of Education and Economic Development Grant Gibbons, and Minister for Health, Seniors and the Environment Jeanne Atherden.
Graduate students from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management carried out the work, supported by the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB. Technical officers in the Departments of Energy, Environmental Protection and Conservation Services offered advice and assistance, as did Dr Kevin Mayall, the marine spatial planning coordinator from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
“The project was undertaken as a minimum cost collaborative effort between the Bren School and Government to provide the UCSB students the opportunity to research and analyse a unique case study that is Bermuda, while providing the Government useful theoretical insight into the viability of adopting offshore wind energy technologies for the Island,” said a Government spokeswoman. “Although the study concludes that offshore wind is viable, the Government notes that its findings are theoretical and that any potential wind developer considering proposing a wind farm for Bermuda would need to carry out their own research into the practical and financial viability of proposing such a development.”
Alisan Amrhein, the project manager, said the team developed a spatial analysis model to help to identify possible wind farm locations.
“We provided recommendations regarding the need for a transparent and open planning process,” she said. “All Bermudians have a stake in developing a clean energy future for the Island, so we felt it was critical to allow their voices to be included in the planning process.”
The Bren students involved in the study were pursuing a master’s in environmental science and management. The project served as their thesis.
More information about the offshore wind study can be found at www.bermudawind.com
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