The Problem: Burning fossil fuels causes global climate change. Sea levels are rising, weather is intensifying and our communities are at risk. In order to avoid catastrophic climate crisis, we need to transition to renewable energy but our politicians have failed to act. It is up to us to lead the way to renewable energy at the local and statewide level. For New Hampshire, this means offshore wind energy. There is enough wind capacity off the coast of New Hampshire to generate 2,600 MW of energy (enough to supply the entire state).
How to build an offshore wind farm: To construct an offshore wind farm off the coast of New Hampshire the governor has to request a task force from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). This task force will talk with stakeholders, assess the coast and determine the viability of an offshore wind farm. If it seems viable, BOEM will start a leasing process for offshore wind developers (this can include coops that will allow for community-owned power). New Hampshire does not have to pay for the task force. Every other state on the east coast with wind potential has already initiate the process.
The Campaign: 2015: We delivered over 1000 petitions to then-governor Hassan. She failed to act before she left office so we shifted our attention to Governor Sununu.
2016: on the campaign trail, we asked Chris Sununu if he would support offshore wind. He said if there was community support he would not oppose it.
2017: 350NH set out to educate the NH community about offshore wind, and to show definitive community support by passing warrant articles and resolutions around the state and working with businesses to send letters to the governor.
March 2018: 350NH passed 20 resolutions and warrant articles in towns and cities around the state urging the governor to request a task force from the BOEM to start the process of bringing offshore wind to New Hampshire.
April 2018:On earth day over 100 people gathered at the capital to deliver letters from towns, businesses, and legislators to the governor.
Moving forward: As we move towards November we will make offshore wind a pivotal issue in the governor’s election. Governor Sununu’s Climate Silence and refusal to hear the will of the people on offshore wind is unacceptable.
5 Reasons to Support Offshore Wind:
Keep money in our local economy: NH spends over 6 billion dollars per year buying dirty energy from out of state
Jobs: Create long term clean energy jobs for NH
Ratepayers save money: Massachusetts electricity users will save about $1.4 billion thanks to offshore wind developments
Protect our coast: Offshore wind turbines do not impact coastal views
Climate change: We need to stop burning fossil fuels in order to avoid catastrophic climate change and sea level rise
The wind turbines will be quite far offshore, barely visible on the horizon from coastal areas.
Are wind turbines safe? What if there’s a severe storm?
Wind turbines are considered quite safe. The turbines are on floating platforms that are anchored to moorings. They are designed to withstand waves, severe storms, hurricane-force winds and even ice flows. They have lightning protection systems and are equipped with navigation and aviation warning lights.
Will the turbines restrict fishing?
Commercial fishing crews are working with researchers at the new Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island to study the impacts on fishing. Some initial data suggests that there can be different species of fish located under different towers. Those in the fishing industry of RI seem pleased that some of their own are working directly with researchers.
Will they disrupt whale or bird migration?
Offshore wind’s potential to reduce air and water pollution have the potential to make the natural world a cleaner, safer place for wildlife. After the construction period, the impact to animals is expected to be minimal and that wildlife will adjust by swimming around the platforms. Construction guidelines have been developed to protect wildlife.
People around the state are still working on passing resolutions and collecting letters from businesses Below is everything you need to join in the campaign.
Email Griffin@350nh.org so that I can connect you to other people who support offshore wind energy in your area!
Collecting letters of support from businesses:
We know governor Sununu listens to businesses. That’s why we are asking businesses to send letters to the governor asking him to request a task force from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to investigate offshore wind potential.
There are a few ways to go about doing this.
Email a business and see if they are interested in sending a letter to the governor then ask to set up a meeting.
Walk into a business and ask to talk to a manager or owner. Present them with the letter and our info sheet.
Hi, I’m volunteering with 350 New Hampshire, and we’re working to bring offshore wind energy to New Hampshire. This would help stop climate change, create jobs, and lower electricity rates. To bring offshore wind to NH, Governor Sununu needs to request a task force from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. This task force will study the feasibility of offshore wind in New Hampshire, talk to stakeholders and potentially start the leasing process for the area where the wind turbines would go. We know our governor respects and listens to businesses. So we’re asking businesses like yours to send letters to the governor asking him to request a Task Force. Would you be willing to send a letter?
Ask for a signed copy of the letter that 350 New Hampshire can deliver on our Day of Action. We also encourage businesses to send their own letters.
Please email Griffin@350nh.org with any results (positive or negative).
Below are resources that may be used as handouts. You might also find them helpful to further your own understanding of offshore wind energy.