CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Former Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioner Warren Elliott will be the only citizen voice at the table to represent Pennsylvania in planning for turbine electric generators off the coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States is moving ahead with the planning and location efforts for these giant structures that will turn wind into energy, according to a news release.
“These are definitely exciting times, and I look forward to being an integral part of the process,” Elliott said in the news release.
Last year, Elliott was appointed to the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council by then-U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as Pennsylvania’s only citizen representative on the board.
Some of the issues that Elliott will be directly involved with are considerations concerning the impact, if any, that the locations of the turbines will have on sea life, commercial fishing and recreational fishing. Also at issue is how the resulting energy will be transported back to land-based transmission stations.
“We recently had a proposal presented to us from a company that wants to serve as the conduit for transmission of the electricity through one large pipeline, an ‘interstate’ for electricity, if you will, rather than having each turbine or each company running hundreds of individual lines back to shore across the ocean floor,” Elliott said.
“In many ways, the MAFMC is the planning body for the ocean from three miles offshore to 200 miles out. It covers the coastal states from New York south to North Carolina,” he said.
Pennsylvania is included because of the Delaware River.
Elliott said he believes that the possibility that wind-generated electricity can be a part of a broader solution to the nation’s energy needs needs to be examined. He said he is cautious because officials must examine all aspects of the total impact and costs associated with it.