Library from Massachusetts

Protecting wetlands in wind turbine siting bill

Legislation adopted last week by the state Senate that streamlines the permitting process for large-scale wind turbine projects includes language proposed by Sen. Robert L. Hedlund that preserves local control over wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas. ...Hedlund also included language requiring that siting standards developed by the state Energy Facilities Siting Board are crafted to reflect the unique characteristics of the different regions of the Commonwealth.
8 Feb 2010

Eastham land eyed for school turbine

Nauset Regional High School is exploring the possible use of town-owned land as a site for a wind turbine. Voters may be asked in May if "they'd like to discuss leasing us some land," Nauset principal Thomas M. Conrad told the Nauset Regional School Committee at a meeting Thursday in Orleans.
8 Feb 2010

Supreme Court Arguments Set

As public attention ratchets up surrounding the controversial Cape Wind project planned for Nantucket Sound, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to hear arguments next week in a case that will decide whether the wind farm developers can sidestep review by the Cape Cod Commission.
5 Feb 2010

Has Cape Wind's time come and gone?

Cape Wind's staking a claim on Nantucket Sound seems to belong to the oil wildcatters' era ("There Will Be Wind?"), not the modern age of cooperative development that calls forth a nation's resources not just from its corporations but also its government and research institutions. This is not to say Cape Wind failed to do its homework. It identified and exploited a loophole in the Sound's protection from industrialization, and its scientists made their case that they could produce energy at that site without significant environmental damage.
5 Feb 2010

Board: Proposed wind project components too big for roads

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has blasted the environmental notification form filed by Minuteman Wind LLC for its $35 million West Hill windmill project as "wholly inadequate," citing numerous environmental concerns and casting extreme doubt on whether the developer could deliver its five turbines over the transportation routes proposed.
4 Feb 2010

Wind farm review 'rushed'

Several federal agencies that reviewed the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm felt they were "unnecessarily rushed" to finish their work before President George W. Bush left office, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Interior Department's inspector general. ...During the inspector general's investigation, officials at federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coast Guard said they were rushed in their efforts to cooperate with MMS, according to the report.
4 Feb 2010

Wind farm developers add to size of project

The developers of Douglas Woods Wind have increased the acreage of the wind farm site, but have reduced the number of proposed turbines. American Pro Wind appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals last night for a height and use variance for 22.5 acres adjacent to the 275 acres that the ZBA approved similar variances for last year. In addition, American Pro Wind requested an extension of the previously approved variance.
4 Feb 2010

Interior chief tours proposed Mass. wind farm site

The secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, who is weighing the fate of a controversial wind farm proposed off Cape Cod, said Tuesday that killing the pioneering project wouldn't hurt the country's developing offshore wind industry. Secretary Ken Salazar toured the Nantucket Sound site of the proposed Cape Wind project, which would be the nation's first offshore wind farm. He's pledged to decide by April.
3 Feb 2010

Harwich residents raise concerns over turbine noise

Add the flickering light and sound of wind turbines to the job of the board of health, a town board more at home with failing septic systems, flu shots and restaurant inspections. As requested by selectmen, the health board last night began its research into the health impacts, if any, of large wind turbines. Harwich voters in November overwhelmingly approved the use of town land.
3 Feb 2010

Interior Secretary sees little hope for consensus on wind farm

Weighing the future of a controversial wind farm project, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar toured Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard cutter Tuesday, surveying the 24-square-mile area where the proposed project would loom. Mr. Salazar's visit comes a month after the National Park Service said Nantucket Sound was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
3 Feb 2010

Minuteman Wind nets heavy criticism

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has blasted the environmental notification form filed by Minuteman Wind LLC for its $35 million West Hill windmill project as "wholly inadequate," citing numerous environmental concerns and casting extreme doubt on whether the developer could deliver its five turbines over the transportation routes proposed. Nathaniel Karns, planning commission executive director, said Tuesday that Minuteman needs to rethink its plans.
2 Feb 2010

Complaint filed against Dartmouth, MA Selectboard re: two permitted wind turbines

Dartmouthma_turbinelawsuit_thumb Residents of the Town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts filed this complaint against the Town's Selectboard members due to legal failures identified in the complaint involving a special permit to construct two utility-scale wind turbines. The introduction of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
1 Feb 2010

Don't sacrifice our mountains to save the planet

Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible. For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.
1 Feb 2010

Fairhaven wind project in the works again

Fairhaven's commercial wind project, stalled in 2008, is moving forward again, this time as a municipal project, a town official said. "There's a plan to install two commercial wind turbines at the wastewater treatment facility site on Arsene Street in what will now be a municipal project," Selectman Brian Bowcock said. The new proposal is very similar to the previous one, using the same location and siting of the turbines and working with the same private company, Plymouth-based CCI Energy.
1 Feb 2010

Salazar to visit wind farm site

It is not exactly the best time of year for a boat ride, but the chilly weather is not stopping U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar is scheduled to visit the area Tuesday to meet with representatives from the region's two Indian tribes and to see firsthand the location for the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm. According to Salazar's office, he will spend part of the day onboard a boat touring the area.
30 Jan 2010

Barnstable denies college wind project

The decision to reject the project follows several months of debate over whether the turbine on state-owned land required approval from the historic district committee at all. The state had moved forward with the project, including preparations of the site near the college's tennis courts, but halted that work after the historic committee insisted it had the right to approve or reject the project.
29 Jan 2010

Committee wants looser requirements for turbines

The Mayor's Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) is recommending less stringent rules for allowing a wind energy conversion facility in the city. The EAC reviewed changes to the existing law made by the 2009 City Council Planning and Development Committee. ...EAC recommends a setback distance from a residential zone of one and a half times the height of the wind turbine (highest position of a blade tip). The Planning and Development Committee had changed the setback to three times the height of the proposed turbine.
29 Jan 2010

Governor: Wind farm's in

"We expect to have federal approval in the next few weeks," Patrick told representatives from major energy and construction firms, including Iberdola, Hunt Oil and Gas and Bechtel Power Corp., a subsidiary of the Big Dig manager. ...The only problem is that, publicly at least, federal approval of Cape Wind is seriously in doubt.
29 Jan 2010

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