Fishing industry proposes reset for offshore wind energy

With Massachusetts moving faster toward offshore wind energy, a national coalition of commercial fishing groups this week urged state officials to limit a first project to no more than 400 megawatts, and set up a new system for the seafood and offshore wind industries to jointly plan a way forward.

“We are pragmatic and we understand that we do not ‘own’ the ocean where these wind farms are being sited,” the National Coalition for Fishing Communities wrote in an April 9 letter to Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr.

“But we do not believe that a renewable resource like wind energy should be allowed to displace another renewable resource like wild fisheries. To guard against that outcome, a measured, restrained approach to the initial project size is best,” the letter stated. “It is irresponsible to allow construction of sizable wind farms without a deep understanding of their impacts.”

This month Massachusetts officials are looking to select an offshore wind development proposal to fit their plans for adding more renewable energy sources to the state’s power mix. The ill-fated Cape Wind plan to build turbines in Nantucket Sound was defeated by strenuous local opposition to siting in nearshore waters, and now proposals are over the horizon on federal offshore leases.

Deepwater Wind, builder of the first U.S. pilot project with five turbines in Rhode Island state waters off Block Island, is among the contenders in Massachusetts with its planned Revolution Wind project south of M....

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