Library from Massachusetts
Unlike last November's failed attempt to restrict wind projects, the current proposal will target only industrial-size turbines and will encourage small-scale wind energy conversion systems among individual property owners.
My local newspaper recently published an op-ed piece which is one of the ugliest, most main-spirited I have ever read. According to its author, Melody Affonce, anyone whose health is harmed by wind turbines must furnish unassailable proof before we take action to prevent further harm. She compares these victims to those seeking workers compensation, welfare, or disability benefits. At the moment, the only thing the turbine neighbors are actually asking for is relief.
"If instead of a judicial robe, I were to wear the hat of John Muir or Milton Friedman, I might well conclude that the Cape Wind project should have been built elsewhere (or not built at all), or that the NStar-Cape Wind contract should never have been approved," Stearns wrote. ...The banks expect to provide more than $400 million in debt themselves in addition to $900 million in potential financing from other sources.
Stearns said he doubted the plaintiffs — which include several Cape Cod businesses, individuals, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and the town of Barnstable — could get past the constitutional amendment which generally gives states immunity from being sued.
He [the judge] allowed O’Donnell’s request that the complaint be dismissed based on the expiration of the building permit appeal deadline. The last day they could have appealed the filing of the building permits was Jan. 15, 2012.
But Cape Wind's impacts extend far beyond the environment. The controversial project would also jeopardize public safety, put fishermen's livelihoods at risk and desecrate sacred tribal lands. As a result of these impacts and the choice of a highly conflicted location, Cape Wind continues to face litigation and opposition.
Town Meeting voters quickly approved a moratorium on industrial wind turbines Tuesday night but debated implementing a regulation on flicker that could be prohibitive for new wind turbine projects. The final vote was 101-43; the measure passed by the needed two-thirds majority.
But the Conservation Law Foundation and others say the state’s effort to boost renewable energy is so ambitious, it will force utilities such as National Grid and Northeast Utilities to deal with large, Canadian hydropower companies. Solar and wind producers can’t create the 2,400 megawatts of additional clean energy that Patrick is calling for.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) Board of Directors today approved up to $1.8 million in relief funds for the Town of Falmouth to help the municipality mitigate the financial impacts associated with the reduced operations of its town-owned wind turbine project located at the Town of Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The request-for-proposals is expected to be issued by the New England States Committee on Electricity, a nonprofit organization that represents the governors on regional electricity issues. Maine’s representative on the committee, Public Utilities Commission Chairman Thomas Welch, said on Monday that it was too early to know what shape the RFP would take, and when it would be issued.
There are 44 wind projects currently operating in Massachusetts. They generate less than 0.6 percent of the state’s electricity needs and just a fifth of the terrestrial wind energy goal set by Patrick. By Irvine’s calculations, there are 49 wind projects that never got off the ground; she calls them dead wind. And 13 projects are in limbo, or still in the permitting process.
Despite Emera’s assertions, Hudson said it’s possible that the PUC will have to start over. Any new approval, he said, could produce a different relationship between Emera and First Wind. At the other extreme, opponents of wind farms along the state’s ridge lines see the court’s finding as a blow to the industry. “This decision could be the salvation of Maine’s mountains,” said Chris O’Neil, a spokesman for Friends of Maine’s Mountains.
Opponents of the Cape Wind project were celebrating a March 14 ruling from the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service need to revisit Cape Wind's impacts on migrating birds and endangered right whales in Nantucket Sound.
My only direct experience with a turbine complex came while driving across the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border in the summer of 2012, where there’s a truly massive installation. A bird, caught in the downdraft of the whirling windmills, smashed into my windshield. I felt very sorry for the mortally wounded avian. The most recent vote in Peru on the Lightship Energy, LLC, project came last Nov. 4, when 59 percent of the voters who turned out supported a two-year moratorium on wind-energy proposals.
In 2009, The Providence Journal wrote about the race to build the first offshore wind farm in the United States, with projects off Block Island and Cape Cod at the front of the pack. Five years later, the race continues.
Following this discussion, the [planning] board quickly recommended Town Meeting approval of the moratorum on utility scale turbines through April 15, 2016. An advisory group for the state is meeting to consider revising state noise regulations for turbines.
The judge, in his ruling, didn't suggest the project would cause harm to the whales or protected migratory birds such as the piping plover and roseate tern. But he did say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act by not making an independent evaluation of plans for a seasonal shutdown of the wind farm's rotors to avoid possible collisions with the birds.
In this District Court ruling, Judge Reggie Walton found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in their reviews of the offshore wind project. The court remanded the case to FWS to independently evaluate a shutdown of turbines during migratory bird season. The court also ruled that NMFS can no longer avoid fully evaluating impacts to right whales and must formulate and issue an incidental take statement because of the documented presence of this highly endangered species in the area. The conclusion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Federal agencies violated Endangered Species Act and must go back to the drawing board to evaluate impacts and protection measures for birds and right whales. ...The plaintiffs have long argued that Nantucket Sound is the wrong place for this project. The court's decision requires the federal government to go back to the drawing board to take the required hard look at the impacts that make Cape Wind's proposal so harmful for the environment.
The company seeking to build a wind farm in Nantucket Sound announced Thursday that it has contracted with Prysmian Cables and Systems USA to supply the transmission cables for the offshore project.