Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Massachusetts
Cape Codders should press policymakers to stop the nonsense, stop the betting with people's health and the enjoyment and value of their property. The gamble of an ill-sited wind turbine has no place in the halls of municipal or county government, let alone residential areas. Not until science can prove otherwise.
Because of ever increasing awareness of the negative consequences of locating turbines near residential areas, many bodies with more experience in turbine siting have been applying increasingly stringent standards. For example, see the February 2011 standards adopted by the Planning and Regulatory Sub-committee of the Cape Cod Commission.
In Rhode Island a $7 million effort is underway to study the ecological and economic importance of a 1,467-square-mile area set aside for wind development. Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel said he was discouraged by the discrepancy between the ongoing research and bids of potential wind developers. "On the one hand there's a tremendous amount of research going on in this area and in the meantime there are already leases on the table."
One of the top unanswered questions is the turbines' potential impact on a nearby radio station. Classical radio station WFCC leases space in the industrial park and its signal emanates from a cell tower on town-owned property about 600 feet from the nearest proposed turbine. Gregory Bone, a general partner in Cape Cod Broadcasting, which owns the station, raised the issue of signal interference.
Despite extensive outreach and a large buffer, people have complained about noise. Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires said continued low frequency noise could lead to sleep deprivation for people living up to a mile and a quarter away. "The inner ear does respond to infra-sound at levels not heard," she added.
At 1.4mw, it is maximum size, industrial class; it is intended to generate electricity for ARC for use and to sell for profit. Large as the Provincetown Monument, it has a blinking red light and emits noise and vibrations. Town Meeting in Dennis already voted to place turbines in five designated areas, not beaches.
"Without merit" was how she described complaints by builder J.K. Scanlon Co., the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the college, that the Barnstable OKH had not considered the energy advantages of the project and that members of the local committee demonstrated a bias against the turbine.
"To be honest, I felt like I was duped," Selectman Jamie Sloniecki said. "I thought when we reviewed the wind turbine bylaw that we were going to have turbines in my backyard, your backyard, that would fund the lights in the shed; not these things 500 feet off the Scenic Highway.
They were never officially notified by the high school, nor the Historic District Commission or any other town regulatory agency, about the project and its location. Others in the area are concerned about the impact of noise, while the father of one high-school student called the siting so close to the school and athletic fields "reckless and irresponsible."
As unmolested as these islands look from the deck of a small craft, that may change as wind turbines sprout. ...Voters whose calculations of industrial wind, whether off or on Vineyard shores, conclude that the detriments outweigh the benefits will want to examine candidates for the state senate, the House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts governorship carefully.
Cape Wind, the plan to harness wind power out off the coast of Nantucket, has raised the ire of residents and environmentalists. Now, another plan to put tall turbines on private property right near the gateway to Cape Cod has residents saying "not in my back yard."
The Cape Cod Commission subcommittee reviewing the New Generation Wind turbine project proposed for Bournedale told the public Monday night its scrutiny would be complete and far from “speedy” before any recommendation is issued
With references to news reports from other parts of the country and England, Tillinghast talked about problems with noise, property value decline and safety related to large turbines, and she said the amount of electricity that could be generated from the proposed Brimfield project would be insignificant in terms of the state's consumption.
Austin charges that the Dennis committee's decision is a "misinterpretation" of the act regarding the turbine's size, "in relation to the surrounding pristine historic area." She says that renewable energy devices "should be designed and constructed in such a manner as to blend in with existing features in the immediate area."
The Old King's Highway Historic District Committee approved on a 3-2 vote Aquacultural Research Corporation's application to build a 243-foot, 600-kilowatt wind turbine on its property at 99 Chapin Beach Road.
Legislators, such as Senate President Murray, seem to be comfortable with the notion that we have a moral responsibility to pursue wind energy and that obliterating the quality of life - or the hopes and dreams and 30 years of love, sweat and tears that have been invested in making a house a "home" - is the price we must pay to achieve "energy independence." Easy for them to say - especially since they aren't the ones paying the price.
Firestone and his research colleagues began surveying public opinion on the Cape Wind project in 2004. He quickly learned that opposition to offshore wind farms is not a classic "not in my backyard" reaction. Instead, opposition mainly to the visual impact of turbines seen from land or from boats causes a psychological reaction known as "place attachment." Basically, it is an emotional attachment to surroundings that are familiar.
The two largest American Indian organizations are calling on the Obama administration to reverse its approval of a massive off shore wind energy project in Nantucket Sound, a sacred site to the Wampanoag people, and reconsider its decision before moving forward.
"I hope we can stop this thing from going up," said Mike Fairneny, a 25-year homeowner on Moores Road. "This is a commercial wind turbine they're trying to put in a small residential area. It would degrade my standard of living and disrupt my pursuit of happiness. It would change my life."
Developers of a $45 million, 30-megawatt wind farm are free to move ahead with construction following a ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday in favor of the project's wetland permit. ..."We are obviously disappointed, but the court has made its final decision," said Eleanor Tillinghast, executive director of Green Berkshires.