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Nine-year wind farm fight splits Cape Cod

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posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:13 AM
This battle over a plan to erect wind farms out in the ocean off of Cape Cod will be decided later this month by the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. This article details the argument on both sides of this issue.

Both present what appear to be valid concerns, and the decision, according to the piece:

... represents a collision of Interior Department priorities: green energy, Native American heritage and eco-concerns over fisheries and bird life...

Falmouth, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The Rev. William Eddy stands at the bow of his 53-foot sailboat nestled in the postcard setting of Cape Cod.

A lifelong resident of the Cape and islands, Eddy built his staysail schooner by hand, and on this day, he's using it as his pulpit. A perfect storm, he says, has been brewing over the past decade among residents driven to hysterics by the idea of building the nation's first offshore wind farm in the middle of Nantucket Sound.
Eddy loves everything about the Cape: the iconic shingled homes, the Norman Rockwell small towns and the pristine beauty of the sea. Most of all, the Episcopal priest loves the magnificent winds.

And he thinks it's a moral imperative to harness those winds. He's told his congregation just that -- and watched some walk out on his sermon. "Father, we all would've stayed if you had just preached about Darfur," one member told him.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:17 AM
It should be easier to get done now that Ted is dead. His position and wealth were fighting harder than anyone to keep the "eyesore" away from the view of the wealthy and elite.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I was wondering if the elite might have been behind some of the delays in moving this forward. I see you are fairly close to the area, what's the word on the street about how this would be beneficial "powerwise" and what have you heard in regards to it being disruptive to the fishing efforts?

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

Not close enough to get any local info. Even the Boston news channel that we get hardly mentions it. The Cape is a different world from the rest of Mass and Mass is a different world from New Hampshire.

It's amazing how a 30 mile drive in any direction brings you to a whole different culture of people.

Most of our power comes from the nuclear plant in Vermont I believe. Right now that plant is under some fire because a nearby river has a higher PPM of some material than it should. There hasnt been any mention of a possible Atlantic windfarm picking up the generation slack or anything like that.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Thanks for the insight to the local dissemination of news
Sounds alot like the area I live in, left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing because they aren't worthy?


Here's another piece on the topic from the AP:

Decision on Cape Cod wind project due this month

BOSTON — The Obama administration decides this month after a nine-year review whether the nation's first offshore wind farm should be built off Cape Cod. If it says no, the industry faces another question with no easy answer: "What's next?"
Not one of the country's half-dozen or so offshore wind proposals has entered the arduous review the Cape Wind project is just finishing. Cape Wind's developers say the earliest they could begin harnessing the breezes of Nantucket Sound is 2012.
The nation's onshore wind industry is the world's largest, but higher upfront costs, tougher technological challenges and environmental concerns have held back the development of offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind is especially important in areas like the Northeast, which lack major land-based winds but are mandated by state rules to use more renewables. Developers promise jobs and a plentiful energy source that emits no greenhouse gases. They say there is enough wind offshore to power the entire country — twice over.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:04 AM
Hi ThisGuy!

I'm in NH, too.

No, we don't get a lot of info about the wind farm anymore. It seems to be very quietly kept under wraps.

I listen to WRKO during the commutes and they talk about it once in a while. It seems like the "eyesore" issue is the biggest hurdle.


posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 11:31 AM
Just following up on this...

It has been approved.


Interior’s Salazar Said to Approve First Offshore Wind Farm

By Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Kim Chipman

April 28 (Bloomberg) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will approve the first wind farm in U.S. waters, a $1 billion project off the Massachusetts coast that was opposed by the late Senator Edward Kennedy, according to a person familiar with the decision.

Salazar is scheduled to make the announcement at the statehouse in Boston today. The Cape Wind proposal would place 130 wind-powered turbines in the shallow waters of Nantucket Sound, generating enough power for more than 300,000 average U.S. homes. A spokeswoman for the Interior Department, Kendra Barkoff, declined to comment.

“The only reason Secretary Salazar would come to Massachusetts would be to approve the project,” said Pat Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School in South Royalton who specializes in ocean and coastal resources.

Homeowners whose ocean views would be affected have spent $20 million over nine years to block the proposed wind farm. The project was also opposed by Indian tribes and Kennedy, a Democrat who represented Massachusetts in Congress for 46 years until he died in August. The turbines would be visible from the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport.

The project still needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration because the turbines may interfere with tower-to- aircraft transmissions. A legal challenge to the wind farm is pending in the Massachusetts courts, and lawsuits are likely to be filed if Salazar gives his approval, Parenteau said.

Five Miles Offshore

President Barack Obama has pledged to double renewable energy from the wind, sun and biodegradable waste in three years. The Energy Department says wind can supply 20 percent of U.S. power by 2030, up from 1.8 percent today.

Cape Wind would generate a maximum of 468 megawatts from turbines spread over 25 square miles of waters about 5 miles off mainland Cape Cod, in an area known as Horseshoe Shoal. The developer, Cape Wind Associates LLC, said on March 31 it would buy turbines from Siemens AG of Germany, which pledged to open a U.S. office in Boston.

One megawatt is enough power for about 800 average U.S. homes, according to the Energy Department.

The U.S. gets no power from offshore wind turbines. Northern Europe already has about 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity, with a target to reach 40,000 megawatts by 2020, according to Walter Musial, head of offshore wind research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

About 6,300 megawatts of offshore wind are planned for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, the Great Lakes and British Columbia, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Impact on Industry

The decision on Cape Wind will be felt throughout the industry, said Jerome Guillet, who was head of energy for Brussels-based lender Dexia SA before starting a financial advisory firm in Paris.

Leaders of 3,200 Wampanoag Indians with roots in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard say Cape Wind’s turbine blades, reaching 440 feet into the air, would desecrate the view of the sunrise that’s essential to their prayer ceremonies. A month before Kennedy died on Aug. 25, he wrote to Obama imploring him to halt action on the wind farm, which would be visible from the senator’s home.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Efstathiou Jr. in New York at; Kim Chipman in Washington at
Last Updated: April 28, 2010 11:51 EDT

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