Library from Massachusetts
In deeper waters of the gulf, wind power will be achieved only with the use of floating turbines. The extensive anchoring and cabling that would be required means “lease areas will become de facto closures to fishing,” the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance wrote in an April 14 letter the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Those types of disputes are “what we’re trying to avoid happening now,” said Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, or RODA. The coalition of fishing stakeholders aims to get the industry on the same page as researchers and wind developers across the region. “We’re trying to make sure fishermen are much more involved in the process from day one,” Hawkins said. She’d like to see more work across state lines to coordinate policy and research.
Based on sound level testing done last year for the Scituate Wind turbine, results indicate the turbine is in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Noise Policy.
The association is among a growing number of environmental and conservation organizations taking the position that, as long as better options exist that will support solar installations, clear-cutting forests for solar is the wrong approach to mitigating climate change. ...ground-mounted arrays consume open space, diminish forest-based carbon sequestration and cooling, fragment wildlife habitat and degrade the other important resource values of our natural lands.
McInnes’s Jan. 30, 2020 letter to the Dartmouth Zoning Board of Appeals states that Brady Estates’ time to keep the land for a solar development is up. “Therefore, the Select Board concurrently opposes the present request by Brady Estates to amend the variance decision in order to modify the terms under which it can delay the conveyance of Parcel B,” the letter reads. The Select Board, the letter notes, intends to deliver a demand for execution of the deed “at or before the next hearing date.”
After years of fighting, Plymouth has declared several massive wind turbines a public health nuisance. “Thank goodness they’re responding,” said Karen McMahon, who has lived for three years in the shadow of several 500-foot tall wind turbines. “It’s horrible and it vibrates. And it vibrates the windows.”
The four 500-foot ConEdison Solutions wind turbines were installed in June 2016. They sit close to the Bourne border, but because they are located in Plymouth, it has been difficult for Bourne residents to fight through their own town government. Since their installation, the Buzzards Bay Action Committee, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserve and protect Buzzards Bay, has collected approximately 360 complaints from residents in the area. Complaints include shadow flicker, nausea, vertigo, sleep disturbance, headaches, anxiety and sound disturbances. “We have 360 complaints and they go unanswered,” Plymouth resident Larry McGrath said before the vote was taken. “Nobody does anything to protect us.”
“The allegations made by the Massachusetts Democrats are unfounded and uninformed. In reality, the Department of the Interior carries out the appropriate environmental review of impacts of all energy projects – renewable and non-renewable—based on the following: the law, the facts and often after extensive public input.”
Federal agencies assessing the environmental impact of Vineyard Wind are now expecting the long-delayed process to wrap up sometime in December, according to a top Baker administration official. ...That timetable is problematic for wind farm developers up and down the coast, but especially for the two companies that have been awarded power purchase contracts by Massachusetts utilities and are eager to begin construction.
The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance called for the creation of six travel lanes, each one four nautical miles in width, through the entire lease area off the coast of the two states. The offshore wind developers in November had proposed no special travel lanes, choosing instead to let fishermen navigate through turbines set one nautical mile apart traveling north and south and seven-tenths of a nautical mile going diagonally.
With regard to the proposed spacing of one nautical mile, the fishing group wrote, “RODA reiterates, consistent with each of our previous comments on the record, that most fishing vessels will not be able to operate in this array and significant displacement will still occur due to (one-nautical-mile) spacing.”
The Independence wind turbine stopped turning permanently in 2019, putting an end to the complaints about noise and flicker that plagued it for seven years.
Seven U.S. senators from New England on Monday urged ISO-NE to “return to the table with stakeholders” and more closely align its fuel security initiative with state policies seeking to speed the transition to renewable energy resources.
The agreement is significant because many Massachusetts politicians, including US Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Sen. Ed Markey, have accused the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Trump administration of playing politics with the process. But the agreement by the five wind farm developers suggests they, and particularly Vineyard Wind, recognized a need to address the consistency of their project designs.
In a bid to work with the commercial fishing industry and other ocean users, the developers planning offshore wind farms in the waters off Rhode Island and Massachusetts have agreed to space turbines one nautical mile apart and lay them out in uniform rows from east to west and columns from north to south.
With several controversial articles on the warrant, the Board of Selectmen had its chance to make Special Town Meeting recommendations a week after the Finance Committee voted its recommendations.
“Since the business case is being impacted by external delays, we are requesting an extension from the IRS for the originally planned ITCs of the project,” Torgerson told analysts. “We’re petitioning the IRS to get an extension of that ITC at the 24 percent level…through the 2022 timeframe.” The delay means Vineyard may be able to upgrade to longer rotor blades for its 9.5-megawatt MHI Vestas turbines, Torgerson said — jumping from a 164-meter rotor diameter up to 174 meters. Longer blades mean more electricity can be generated.
Few details about the price or the onshore investment were revealed, but Mayflower said in its original bid that the price would be “the lowest cost offshore wind energy ever in the US.” Mayflower is a joint venture of Shell New Energies and EDP Renewables. ...It appears Mayflower was far and away the easy choice. The state’s press release said the company offered a lower price and greater economic development opportunities than the other two bidders – Vineyard Wind, the company that won the first offshore wind procurement, and Bay State Energy, which lost for the second time.
At fall town meeting Nov. 12, Falmouth will again be asked to fund the town’s wind turbine “white elephants.” This, even after Gov. Charlie Baker admitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C., that Falmouth’s project failed due to how and where the turbines were sited.