Here are just a few of the reasons why the Treasure Coast Chapter of the Surfrider believes this project is a very bad plan for Hutchinson Island:
Each windmill would stand over 400 feet tall, requiring a height variance from St. Lucie. The turbine blades would have a circumference wider than the wingspan of a commercial jetliner. People come from far away to enjoy our beautiful beaches for peace and relaxation, not to be confronted by massive, noisy industrial structures. It's highly doubtful that anyone would enjoy a peaceful day at the beach beneath the whirling blades.
The location of windmills will breach the St. Lucie County Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL), as determined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, along beaches that have a history of being compromised by hurricane storm surge.
The turbines are planned on environmentally sensitive land, negatively effecting eight acres of vital upland and mangrove habitat without obtaining an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) form the Army Corp of Engineers, which is standard procedure for a project of this magnitude.
A 440-foot tall structure is not a good match with a Florida barrier Island. FPL has yet to produce an engineering plan that will show how the wind turbines will withstand hurricane impact without compromising the entire beach. FPL has stated that its plans include constructing reinforced concrete slabs measuring at least 10 feet in height and up to 100 feet in diameter at the base of each wind turbine. In the event of a major storm, these massive foundations will act as sea walls with the potential to cause severe beach erosion by deflecting storm surge and wave action, and carving away down drift beaches. This will create a need for costly taxpayer-funded beach nourishment projects that have a proven history of damaging coastal ecosystems and near shore reefs.
There is much evidence that points to a significant sea level rise over the next three decades that will drastically alter the geography of Florida's coastline. Click Here to Read the FSU Report It is a foolhardy to invest $45 million dollars in a plan that will have such a short life span.
Three wind turbines are planned at Walton Rocks Beach, a popular beach for families, surfers and fishermen. While owned by FPL, this beach has been managed by St. Lucie County for decades. The proposed placement of the turbines at Walton Rocks could restrict established public beach access and severely reduce the quality of the beach-going experience.
There is also much speculation as to whether there is enough wind along our coast to make this a viable project. FPL generously estimates that the winds along the St. Lucie County coast average 14 mph, just enough to power 1,800 homes. If the actual wind speed is lower, the power generated would be significantly less. Sacrificing our precious beaches to create a massive industrial infrastructure that will likely power less than 1,800 homes is unacceptable.
With the $45 million cost of building the turbines passed on to its customers (in addition to receiving government tax subsidies) the only thing green about the turbine plan will be the cash be flowing into FPL's pockets.
Surfrider suggests that FPL invest its 45 million dollars into developing affordable solar energy products so that its customers may begin realizing substantial long-term savings on their energy bills. After all, FLORIDA IS THE SUNSHINE STATE, NOT THE WIND STATE!
CLICK HERE TO SEE DETAILED MAPS OF FPL'S TURBINE PLAN FOR WALTON ROCKS BEACH
Alternative Energy -- YES!
Windmills on Our Beaches -- NO WAY!
FPL, DON'T BLOW IT!!
TC SURFRIDER'S ANDY BRADY
& LOCAL SURFERS SOUND OFF!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
Please take a moment to e-mail the county commissioners and implore them to oppose FPL's turbine plan based upon 1) non-compliance with county height restrictions, 2) breach of the County's Coastal Construction Control Line 3) massive habitat destruction, 4) potential for catastrophic beach erosion, 5) short project life span due to projected sea level rise, 6) restriction of public access and enjoyment of beaches.
Click the names below to send an e-mail:
Joe Smith: Joe_Smith@co.st-lucie.fl.us
Doug Coward: email@example.com
Paula Lewis: LewisP@stlucieco.gov
Charles Grande: GrandeC@stlucieco.gov
Chris Craft: Chris_Craft@co.st-lucie.fl.us
Or, you can write or call them at:
2300 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, Florida 34982
We also urge you to e-mail Governor Crist who is a big supporter of FPL's plan:
With your help, we can keep the wind blowing in a positive direction!