Offshore wind farms – even dinky ones, like Block Island off Rhode Island – are very big engineering projects. And with very big engineering projects, you can get very big expensive mistakes.
They’ve got one at Block Island, reports E&E News:
The rocky saeabed around Block Island has been worn away by tides and storms, sometimes exposing high-voltage cables in a popular swimming location that developers failed to bury deep enough when the facility was brought online in 2016. To splice in newly buried cables, the wind farm will go offline for a brief period this spring. At $30 million for one leg of the fix and an undisclosed amount for the other, it’s a costly problem to crop up for the nation’s first offshore wind farm,
The article notes that getting electricity from offshore winds farms to the shore is a non-trivial problem. You can read the whole story here.
I worry about seabirds getting killed by offshore wind farms. I imagine creating a huge, flexible netting structure that would encompass the turbine blades and towers, and when birds hit, the force of the impact would be softened by the netting. And I imagine all the engineers crabbing about the incremental loss of power from the netting and the cost of the added structures.
Then I just read of a cheaper solution: painting one blade black can significantly reduce avian mortality: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/08/black-paint-on-wind-turbines-helps-prevent-bird-massacres/
So that’s pretty cool!