After delivery of a couple thousand petitions to Governor Maggie Hassan, supporters of offshore wind energy development held a rally today at the State House in Concord.
Doug Bogen, Executive Director of the Seacoast Anti-Pollution league, who has been promoting the concept for several years, believes there is so much potential for energy from wind in the Gulf of Maine that it would be possible to “phase out fossil fuel and phase out nuclear power and replace it with this.”
Offshore wind projects already in operation in Europe, and one about to be put online off Block Island, show the technology is already available, he said. “We know how to do this,” Bogen stressed.
One important step is for Governor Maggie Hassan to make a formal request to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to form a Task Force and stakeholder process to plan for regional offshore wind development. That’s the point of the petition.
“The Federal Department of Energy has determined that the Gulf of Maine has a total potential wind power capacity in excess of 200,000 Megawatts within 50 miles of the coasts of New Hampshire, Maine and northeast Massachusetts,” the petition states.
“Utilizing just a small percentage of this potential, combined with other renewable resources, could provide most of the future power needs of these states,” says Kaity Thomson of 350NH, which organized today’s rally.
Representative Renny Cushing, who lives almost in sight of the Seabrook nuclear plant, chaired a legislative study of offshore wind already. Now, he says he is “wildly enthusiastic about the potential.”
Stephanie Scherr of Fossil Free 603 says she was energized by the successful struggle against the NED Pipeline proposed by the Kinder Morgan Corp. After months of saying “no” to fracked gas, she emphasized how important it is to have something to say “yes” to. Scherr gave an ironic “thank you” to Kinder Morgan for pushing people to think seriously about alternatives.
After the rally, participants went up to Governor Hassan’s office, where they wrote additional messages.
If you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can find it here.