The plan to construct a wind farm offshore of Morro Bay is based on a whole lot of hope and not much credibility. It all looks good on paper but there are many faults and drawbacks. Starting with the construction issues, construction will take some considerable time and that means many construction workers will move to the area and contribute to the declining economy from the possible closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant. However, this will not continue after construction. The maintenance on the wind turbines will not need near the number of employees for maintenance, so construction workers will most likely return to where they came from or be looking for jobs elsewhere. The American Jobs Plan is not destined to fulfill a lasting solution to economic stability in San Luis Obispo County.
There is the matter of where these wind turbines will be placed. The plan is for them to be situated far offshore where the wind is actually less reliable than closer to shore. The changes in temperature closer to land are what determine the wind factor. The dangers, which cannot be denied, are many. Construction in deep water will be treacherous not only during construction but during maintenance. There are also many environmental issues to address, which seem to be minimized.
There is no factual or reasonable replacement for Diablo Canyon. There's nothing to replace the amount of sustainable, constant, reliable clean energy supplied by Diablo Canyon. There's nothing to replace the 1,500-plus full-time positions. Also the employees whose incomes depend on refueling and maintenance outages and the local businesses—which depend on the number of workers who come every few months and stay in the motels, eat out, and purchase goods—are something this county and northern Santa Barbara County depend on.
As I have said time after time, there is no perfect solution to maintain a consistent source of clean energy to supply our considerable energy needs. Every source has a downside. Many tend to ignore the critical issues of energy sources or have exaggerated, misleading mindsets.
The New Green Deal may be green but not a good deal! There's no receiving something 100 percent if it's not available 100 percent. You can fill up your gas tank and depending on how far you go, how fast you drive, whether on the open road or with multiple stops, the gas will last just so long. It's not so different with wind and solar. If it's available it can be useful; if it's not available, it's not able to provide the energy needed consistently and reliably. One hundred percent renewable power is a false dream and will not come true. Δ
Ellie Ripley writes about Diablo Canyon Power Plant from Arroyo Grande. Send her comments through the editor at [email protected].