SA fifth-graders support offshore wind farming

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To the Editor:

We, the fifth grade at Southampton Academy in Courtland, are interested in offshore wind farming for the state of Virginia.

We studied alternative forms of energy in science and learned more about wind farming during a recent trip to the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Our trip inspired our language arts class to discuss and study this topic further.

We have discovered many viewpoints about the possible use of wind turbines off the coast of our state.

According to VA4WIND, offshore wind farms have the capability of supplying 80 percent of electric demand for the country. Wind off the coast of Virginia Beach will help contribute to the 80 percent.

Turbines will remain virtually invisible as they are built 12 miles off the coast.

The benefits of harnessing offshore wind power are plentiful. Wind is a renewable resource that will never run out and is available now.

Wind farming causes no pollution, such as air contaminants that can lead to asthma or lung problems. Also, this project has the possibility of increasing jobs in Virginia as workers will be needed to make materials and construct wind turbines.

Our class has also investigated opposition to using wind power off the coast. Building these turbines off shore and laying underground lines needed for the transmission of energy is expensive.

We also found that birds and bats could possibly be harmed by flying into the propellers of the turbines. However, after further research we discovered more: We discovered more animals in flight are killed from various forms of pollution rather than actual collisions with wind turbines.

Overall our fifth-grade class believes that advantages of wind power outweigh any possible disadvantages. Wind is there for us to utilize now!

We urge Virginia to join Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey in their pursuit to capture wind for its renewable resources. If the Navy has committed to using 50 percent renewable energy by 2025, then why can’t Virginia, too?

Rachel Pope
Fifth-grade teacher
Southampton Academy