NORWELL - A plan to build six large wind turbines could go before voters at town meeting in the spring.
Petitions calling for construction of the turbines are now circulating. By collecting 10 signatures on each petition, Norwell resident David Brooks can put his proposal on the agenda at Town Meeting.
The municipal light department in Hull already has erected two turbines to help provide electric power, and several South Shore communities are considering wind-energy proposals. Most towns, however, are not now considering building more than one or two turbines.
The six turbines in Norwell would be scattered throughout the town and would provide enough energy to power every home, business and public building in Norwell, said Brooks, a wind-energy consultant working with an Iowa-based firm, J.P. Sayler and Associates.
Brooks is confident he will collect the necessary signatures.
‘‘It all boils down to how receptive the public is,’’ Brooks said. ‘‘With a little bit of luck and some public support, Norwell will be the town to look at in the whole country to say, ‘This is how you do it.’’’
Michael Gross, communications director for Cape Cod Community College, admits he was surprised when the Federal Aviation Administration had concerns about the original campus location of a proposed wind turbine.
“I never noticed it until we got the determination,” he said, “ and then I must have seen five airplanes come over the Burger King the next week.”
Responding to the FAA, the tower’s sponsor, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and college officials are looking at a new site just past the college’s service entrance on Route 132 in West Barnstable. The change is part of the agenda for a community meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in Grossman Upper Commons at the college.
Efforts to put a wind turbine on the campus of Holy Name Central Catholic Junior Senior High School earned a major boost last week with the award of $575,000 from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
The grant will cover a big chunk of the project’s $1.6 million cost, and Stephen A. Perla, superintendent of the Diocese of Worcester Catholic Schools, says he is optimistic about raising the remaining $1 million.
No Cape and Islands subject has impacted the governor’s race like the controversial proposal by Cape Wind to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound.
While large offshore wind farms have been spinning in Denmark for a half-dozen years, they have no U.S. counterparts - though that could change if proponents of two first-time projects off the coasts of Long Island and Massachusetts have their way.
The Long Island Power Authority and its contractor FPL Energy are pushing ahead with a plan to place 40 turbines off the South Shore between Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park. The turbines, in an eight-square-mile array 3 1/2 miles to five miles from the shoreline, are expected to generate 140 megawatts of electricity - enough, LIPA says, to power 44,000 homes at peak capacity.
New England will need to add power plants capable of generating 4,300 megawatts, and $3.4 billion of additional transmission investment, by 2015 to avoid blackouts, the region’s grid operator says.
The area will need 170 megawatts of new power before the summer of 2009 to assure adequate supplies, according to ISO New England Inc., the power grid and wholesale market operator that serves the region’s 14 million people........ If a 1,000 megawatt coal or nuclear power plant had been installed in 2005, buyers in the wholesale market would have saved $600 million in power costs, the report said.
NEW ASHFORD — The developers of a vacation resort on Brodie Mountain have filed suit against the developers of the proposed Berkshire Wind Project on the other side of the mountain in Hancock. The suit seeks that five of the 10 turbines in the project be moved further west away from their property line.
Silverleaf Resorts Inc., which plans to build the Snowy Owl Resort at the former Brodie Mountain Ski Area, has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Springfield, claiming the Berkshire Wind builders trespassed on their land when building an access road and that the finished project would reduce the resort’s value. This past week, Judge Michael A. Ponsor set a pretrial hearing date for March 16.
SAVOY — It has been two years in the making, but Planning Board Chairman Jamie Reinhardt said that the town might be ready in “four or five months” to vote on the bylaws that will make — or break — a wind project that proposes to put five 420-foot, 2.5-megawatt turbines on West Hill.
About 30 residents attended a hearing Thursday night at the firehouse and gave input on an early draft of the bylaws.
“We’re going to take comments and amend the bylaws as we see necessary,” Reinhardt told the group. “The amendments will be made in response to your comments tonight.”
He also said that the current draft was based on a template from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
A zoning bylaw for windmills will come before voters at a special Town Meeting Nov. 27, and resident Paul F. Bourbeau hopes it will receive the required two-thirds majority vote so he can start a windmill project on his 20-acre property.
Bourbeau helped craft the proposed windmill bylaw, which restricts the structures to a maximum height of 120 feet.
Town meeting has approved a wind-power bylaw that will allow turbines of up to 350 feet in height on plots of land 5 acres or more.
A special permit from the zoning board will be required, however.
Some town meeting members thought the height allowance was too great.
But the town’s planning director, Lee Hartmann, said Plymouth already had bylaws governing smaller windmills for residential use. The new bylaw approved last night is intended to regulate wind turbines for commercial use.
Massachusetts is joining a race against other U.S. states for wind power development funding to build infrastructure necessary to keep innovation here, and reverse a track record of letting wind technologies drift out to the Midwest.
In addition to playing catch-up, Massachusetts officials face roadblocks including coastal Cape residents who vocally oppose windmills messing up the Atlantic horizon, lack of industry presence, and a lack of infrastructure to support development. There’s also some gale force competition blowing in from Texas and Iowa where sweeping prairies and open spaces provide ideal conditions for wind power generation.
The Teresians have sued Boston-based American Tower Corp., saying it reneged on its agreement to sell them a 99-acre site in central Massachusetts where they want to build a monastery and wind farm that would subsidize electricity for hundreds of low-income homes. The monks believe the company reversed its decision after realizing the property could be used for alternative energy.
Saying New England holds tremendous opportunity for wind energy development, Connecticut-based Noble Environmental Power today announced that it is teaming up with Vermont-based Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA) to explore potential windpark locations throughout the region.
Six miles offshore in Cape Cod's Nantucket Sound, an ambitious construction project threatens to mar the peaceful seascape. Cape Wind Associates proposes to build the nation's first offshore wind farm -- 130 wind turbines, each with propellers 440 feet high -- in these historic and scenic federal waters.
That plan has sparked a five-year fight against the project, bringing together some strange allies. Lame-duck Republican governor Mitt Romney has found common ground with Democratic senator Ted Kennedy; the International Wildlife Coalition is onboard with the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce; and the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors is with the Wampanoag Tribal Council.
On the horizon?
October 15, 2006
by Beth Daley, Globe Staff
in Boston Globe
Cape Wind's new images of its windmills -- now 23 feet taller -- provide a glimpse of what the turbines will look like from land
Among the issues the candidates disagreed on was the future of wind power in the Berkshires. Republican Matt Kinnaman noted that wind turbines have been “decried and resisted” across the state for good reason. He said the “monstrous contraptions” divide communities, and cost more to build than they recoup in power generation. The better solution would be to keep all energy costs low, he said, and that to that end, he would oppose any effort to raise the gasoline tax.
Independent Dion Robbins-Zust said unequivocally that he supports wind power, and challenged Democrat Benjamin B. Downing to make a definitive statement.
Downing chose to quote H.L. Mencken, that there is always a simple answer and that it is usually wrong. While saying he supports the controversial Cape Wind project off Cape Cod, he believes the proposals for the Berkshires “haven’t lived up to the promise,” which underscores the need for dialogue and community input in planning such development.
This is a transcript for Tuesday’s debate between Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and Republican challenger Kenneth Chase, moderated by NECN’s Chet Curtis. The debate marked the first time Kennedy had debated a campaign rival since 1994, when he sparred with Mitt Romney, the current governor of Massachusetts.
The results of a recent wind power study has taken some of the wind out of the sails of the Swampscott Renewable Energy Committee.
According to the report, the town is so dense it is impossible to locate a wind turbine anywhere in town and meet the state regulations, which prohibit a wind turbine within 1,000 feet of a home.
A report recently issued by the Department of Defense indicates that commercial wind turbines have the potential to affect radar installations.
The same report, undertaken at the request of U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Quincy, calls “overly simplified and technically flawed” a 2004 U.S. Air Force analysis which found that a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound would have no effect on its PAVE PAWS radar installation on the Upper Cape. The report further calls for a more exhaustive study of the wind farm and its relation to PAVE PAWS.
Delahunt said Monday the issue of radar first came to his attention through Yarmouth resident Cliff Carroll, a vocal opponent of the wind farm project. Those concerns, Delahunt said, were reinforced by a short briefing on the subject by defense officials. That briefing prompted Delahunt to request a study, the findings of which were released last week.
“I just wanted to have it done,” said Delahunt, who added that questions about the wind farm’s possible effects on such topics as military radar, commercial air traffic, fishing and navigation should be asked by everyone regardless of their stance on the controversial project.
“This [report] is preliminary but it clearly ratchets up the concerns,” said Delahunt, who also opposes the project. “We need some reassurances.”
The three schools are a large consumer of electrical power in town, with the middle-high school using more electricity than any other building. To help cut back on costs and be more “green,” the Energy Committee has begun looking into harnessing the power of the wind through turbines. Its thought is that one large turbine could be erected at the Recycle Transfer Facility, and a second smaller turbine could be erected at the high school, both of which could save the town a lot of money. In these difficult fiscal times, saving money where possible would be a plus.