The Wind Blows Free in Denmark

Cape Codders venture offshore in Denmark 
On a Clear Day you can see four windmills


Those making the trip today got a close look at the Nysted turbines in boat trips
organized by the local tourism office. One member of the CPN group rented a
sailboat and tacked and jibbed between the turbines all morning.

By Jack Coleman

NYSTED, DENMARK - The wide array of wind turbines in the waters off southern Denmark could be seen from shore this morning, but only if you squinted.


The Danish wind farm off Nysted (the red arrow above) lie in the Ostee between that nation and Germany.

Not that it would matter much to the 34 visitors from the United States who are here on a trip organized by Clean Power Now, a non-profit organization that advocates in support of the proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound.

Local Tourism Office touts the turbines with tours

Those making the trip got a close look at the turbines in boat trips organized by the local tourism office.

The overcast gray early that hinted at rain early in the day gave way to mostly sunny skies as members of the group left the harbor at Nysted on a sports charter boat, the Amigo, and a sloop right behind. A third group would be given a tour of the turbine site in the afternoon on board the Amigo.

Our captain on the Amigo, Gregers Gleivsdorf, has worked in these waters for 10 years, bringing sports fishermen on charters and at a local rescue station. The shoals where the turbines were built was not a popular destination for fishermen, Gleivsdorf said.

"Now there is a lot more more meat on the poles for the fish,'' he said, referring to mussels that have fastened onto the turbine towers below the surface of the water." - Captain Gregers Gleivsdorf

''Now there is a lot more more meat on the poles for the fish,'' he said, referring to mussels that have fastened onto the turbine towers below the surface of the water.

Fear for birds unfounded too

While some people were concerned about potential impacts to birds, their fears have been proved unfounded,'' Gleivsdorf said. ''We have never seen it. We have never seen a dead bird in the water in this area. I don't think it is happening.''

Accompanying the first group of passengers on the Amigo was Hans-Erik Johnsen, Nysted's chief engineer.

When the wind farm was first proposed, many people were opposed to it because no sailing would be allowed near the turbines, Johnsen said.  (Editor's note: one member of the CPN group today rented a local sailboat and spent the morning going in and out between the turbines)

Opponents were also put off by the size of the wind farm - 90 turbines - and they succeeded in persuading the government to reduce the project to 72 turbines.

And, Johnson added, ''we said if we are going to have it, it will have our name,'' he said. ''Now it is Nysted windmill park."

The residents and visitors to this lovely corner of Denmark take their sailing very seriously, a trait they share with Cape Codders. Some 5,000 sailboats, yachts and motorboats stop in Nysted in any given summer, Johnsen said.

Plans are underway for more turbines to be built near the existing 72-turbine array. If this happens, Johnsen said, he hopes they will build them farther from shore, from the southernmost line of the wind farm.

''I didn't like them originally,'' Johnsen said. ''I learned to live with it.''
 
NEXT - seeing the turbines up close [this story kept short due to limited Internet access - the story is being written on a computer in the Nysted library] 

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