Documents from Massachusetts

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind Energy Project

Beacon_hill_comments_on_cape_wind_eis_thumb The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University has studied the Cape Wind proposal in considerable detail, and offers the following comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Reference file no. NAE-2004-338-1: 1. A systematic cost-benefit analysis – missing from the DEIS – shows that, with 90% confidence, the costs of the project outweigh the benefits by between $83 million and $333 million, with a mean measure of net cost of $209 million (equivalent to 2.0 cents/kWh produced). 2. The DEIS conclusion of “no adverse impacts to tourism and recreation” is not supported by the data. 3. The DEIS conclusion that the project would not adversely affect property values is based on a flawed study, ignores other research, and is untenable. 4. The DEIS estimates of the value of health improvements are greatly exaggerated (at $53 million annually). Our own estimates show health improvements of $7 million, and even this may be overstated.
17 Feb 2005

Why energy conservation trumps windmills

Why_energy_conservation_thumb If you really want to cut energy consumption, reduce pollution, improve public health and protect our environment, it’s time to contact your elected officials, educate them about the lessons of Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, and tell them you want tougher energy efficiency measures instead of wind power plants. Otherwise, in the next few years, you’ll be looking at wind turbines in some of your favorite places, with the knowledge that they’re doing little more than funneling your tax dollars to a few lucky corporations and landowners, and away from better solutions.
1 Feb 2005

An Economic Analysis of a Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound

Written by Douglas Giuffre, Jonathan Haughton, David Tuerck and John Barrett, this report analyses in economic terms the costs and benefits of a proposed 130 turbine wind plant in Nantucket Sound. It concludes that the economic costs substantially exceed the associated economic gains. This is a follow-up study to one published by Beacon Hill in October 2003 entitled "Blowing in the Wind: Offshore Wind and the Cape Cod Economy"
15 May 2004

Wind turbines don't make good neighbors

Researched and written by Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires Inc. this is a comprehensive study of the probable impact of industrial wind plants on the rural character, quality-of-life and economy of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Specific issues addressed include visual aesthetics, tourism, property values, public roads and public safety.
14 May 2004

Wind Turbine Noise Issues

Windturbinenoiseissues_thumb "Wind turbines generate noise from multiple mechanical and aerodynamic sources. As the technology has advanced, wind turbines have gotten much quieter, but noise from wind turbines is still a public concern. The problems associated with wind turbine noise have been one of the more studied environmental impact areas in wind energy engineering. Noise levels can be measured, but, similar to other environmental concerns, the public's perception of the noise impact of wind turbines is in part a subjective determination. Noise is defined as any unwanted sound. Concerns about noise depend on 1) the level of intensity, frequency, frequency distribution and patterns of the noise source; 2) background noise levels; 3) the terrain between the emitter and receptor; and 4) the nature of the noise receptor. The effects of noise on people can be classified into three general categories (National Wind Coordinating Committee, 1998): 1) Subjective effects including annoyance, nuisance, dissatisfaction 2) Interference with activities such as speech, sleep, and learning 3) Physiological effects such as anxiety, tinnitus, or hearing loss"........ prepared by the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering University of Massachusetts at Amherst
1 Mar 2004

ISO-NE Load Forecast Methodology

This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.
19 Dec 2003

Blowing in the Wind: Offshore Wind and the Cape Cod Economy

Written by Jonathan Haughton, Douglas Giuffre and John Barrett, this report addresses the prospective impact on the Cape Cod economy of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. The study includes the responses of tourists and residents to the aesthetics of the proposed project as well as the result of a survey among tourists on the degree to which the project would influence their desire to visit the area. The authors conclude that 'caution' is in order. A follow-up study entitled "Free but Costly" An Economic Analysis of a Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound" was published in March 2004.
15 Oct 2003

Green Power and Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Municipalities in Massachusetts

Synapse_energy_thumb The purpose of this report is to identify and characterize the range of options available to municipalities for purchasing green power and improving the efficiency with which electricity is consumed. Municipalities have several viable options for purchasing electricity in a fashion that is consistent with the energy, cost, and environmental goals of the community. Municipalities are in a better position to achieve certain policy goals than are individual customers through their collective buying power. A municipality’s advantage lies in the size of its electricity load, in the potential for more sophisticated decision-making than individual customers can apply, and in the potential for reflecting more of the public interest in the decision-making process.
22 May 2002
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