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Massachusetts court propels wind farm forward

windfarm.jpgThough it was meant to generate electricity, the Cape Wind project, a large offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound, has instead produced plenty of acrimony and legal ink. Well-connected residents, among others, have fought hard to keep the blades from spinning off the historic and picturesque Massachusetts shore. Now, however, it appears the project may have the wind at its back.

On 31 August, the Massachusetts Supreme Court granted all state and local permits to the Cape Wind farm, upholding a prior ruling by the state energy board in May 2009. This clears the way for construction to begin on 130 planned generators.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a group opposing the project, calls the decision an “outrageous violation of community rights”, though the Cape Wind website lists many local supporters.

If built, the 468-megawatt power plant would be the largest wind generating installation in the U.S., providing power to about 220,000 households. While multiple offshore wind generators dot the coasts of Denmark, the Netherlands, and China, this would be the first in the U.S.


America’s first offshore wind farm gets approved

Image: Wikimedia


  1. Report this comment

    Uncle Al said:

    Official Truth is that a single wind turbine is not louder than a running clothes dryer, ~57 db, if monitored 1300 feet upwind.

    At the rated 16 rpm, each of the three blade tips defining a circle 182.5 feet in radius will be traveling at 208 mph. It is noisy inside a Cessna doing 100 knots or a car 100 mph.

    Cape Wind’s 130 giant turbines generating “up to” 468 megawatts will real world average less than 25% of nameplate capacity. They will rattle windows for miles – and much worse downwind. Blade tips will be 440 feet above the water, visible from at least 30 miles distance near sea level (much more if you are at higher altitudes).

    It will sum to a charming eyesore thrusting Nantucket gentry into Southie aesthetics. Do it.

  2. Report this comment

    Jonathan Foxrun said:

    Deepwater Horizon blew while Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was readying his approval speech for Cape Wind. His fixation on this offshore wind farm and protection of his corrupt MMS (now BOEMRE) absolutely REEK in the aftermath. Talk about side-stepping proper permitting! For five years, MMS circumvented protocols for dealing with Traditional Cultural Properties of resident First Nations people. The delay created great advantage for Cape Wind’s proposal, and they moved ahead without proper consultation with tribal representatives. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Apr. 2010) found against Cape Wind in part for this reason. Every American should read the ACHP report so they can see the extent of the damage that this wind farm will cause to national historic properties. Kenneth Lee Salazar has chosen to ignore the ACHP in order to further his obsession with this project. Politics as usual is what I see — since MA gubernatorial incumbent Deval Patrick takes campaign money from Cape Wind vendors. Given that the corruption-steeped MMS allowed Cape Wind to get this far, the proposal should be halted before ground is irreparably broken. Then perhaps a truly independent investigation can take place.

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