Library from Massachusetts
Parker hopes that Cape Wind can't find lenders to help pay the more than $2 billion it will take to build 130 wind turbines, each one rising more than 400 feet out of Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind at one point said they would have no problem borrowing money to build the wind farm if the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved generous agreements with power companies.
Cape Wind, based in Boston, has spent more than a decade pursuing the $2.6 billion project in Nantucket Sound, fighting opposition from environmental groups, local fishermen and members of the Kennedy family. It must begin construction by Dec. 31 to earn the federal investment tax credit.
They filed an earlier nuisance complaint against the town in July 2012, but the judge granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on Dec. 3, 2012. "The heart of the issue is that they have been pushed off their land," said Mannal. "They have erected these enormous industrial-scale turbines -- larger than a 747 -- in close proximity to residences. They have had to leave their house because they couldn't live there anymore."
Sue Hobart filed a nuisance complaint against her town after experiencing headaches.
Opponents of a controversial pair of town-owned wind turbines got a boost in Barnstable Superior Court recently when a judge said they had a "likelihood of success" in their legal battle. But they haven't won yet.
Dr. Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation in Australia delivered these important comments to attendees at the Falmouth MA Human Rights Conference. A portion of Dr. Laurie's comments appear below. Her full set of comments can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Members of Windwise have asked a Superior Court judge for more time to admit evidence in their latest lawsuit aimed at combating the town's two wind turbines. They say more time is needed to review the state's noise sampling of the machines, calling it "new information only recently discovered" in a September motion.
“If you get it wrong, bad things happen,” Nicholas Miller, a senior director at General Electric’s energy consulting arm, said about developing the grid in accordance with renewable energy growth. “Germany didn’t see 20 Gigawatts with a ‘G’ (of solar) coming in in 24 months. They got their interconnection rules wrong … and it’s costing them a quarter of a billion dollars to put the genie back into the bottle.”
The board heard testimony based on the new hours of operation for the turbines at the town wastewater treatment plant that some neighbors claim affect their health. In the absence of new information, the board approved a motion that future comments on the turbines’ operation must be submitted to the board in writing and the board reserves the right to reopen the matter for pubic discussion if new evidence is presented.
The well-coordinated opposition has had a chilling effect on new projects, Manwell and Reid said. "The wind developers approach Massachusetts with some level of trepidation, understandably because of our history," Reid said.
What’s more, while the state has okayed three industrial scale wind-farms, the state committee that approves power development denied a project in Antrim in February. Opposition to wind power has also grown steadily in the legislature. Last week at an industry-organized “energy summit” senate majority leader Jeb Bradley said he would fight “tooth and nail” against wind development on New Hampshire’s ridge-lines.
Though Iberdrola Renewables hasn’t filed an application for the project yet with the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, the company has signed a 15-year agreement to sell power to a group of Massachusetts utilities. The agreement will benefit Massachusetts’ Renewable Energy Portfolio and its electricity customers, though there are questions about its value to New Hampshire.
It has been reported that Massachusetts’ utilities National Grid, Northeast Utilities and Unitil have negotiated power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 565 megawatts of electricity capacity from existing and proposed wind farms in New Hampshire and Maine that would provide electricity at wholesale rates of approximately 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.
State Rep. Sarah Peake has introduced a bill (H. 2048) that calls for the commonwealth to convene a health commission to study the health impacts from land-based wind turbines. This legislation is about conducting honest scientific and medical research, developing educational materials and developing training for health care professionals. Massachusetts citizens deserve no less. ...It is time to quiet the rhetoric and make decisions regarding wind turbines by finding the real facts about the health impacts of the turbines.
Jared Goldstone, Chairman of the Falmouth Board of Health, announced that the Board will examine Falmouth's new wind turbine operational plan and its impact on wind turbine neighbors. That examination will include public comment according to Goldstone.
The low cost of power from the projects, which are being developed by First Wind, Iberdrola Renewables and Exergy Development Group, includes federal production tax credits that the companies have said they expect to qualify for before the credits expire at the end of the year, Sullivan said.
The agreements forecast further growth for the wind industry as the willingness of utilities to make long-term commitments makes it easier for developers to obtain financing for more wind farms. That, in turn, would probably lead to new conflicts in rural areas, where large-scale industrial wind farms are typically sited.
Several residents questioned whether it was appropriate to hire consultants to the wind industry, particularly a company like Tech Environmental that has previous experience with the Independence wind turbine. "I don't think they are going to represent the residents of Kingston," Leland Road resident Doreen Reilly said.
If the state doesn't bring financial aid to the table, the town's latest attempt to balance its finances, a desire for clean energy and the comfort of the turbines' neighbors could unravel. Falmouth wants the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to forgive a $1 million renewable energy certificate, and state agencies to convert a $4.8 million construction loan into a grant.
In the 17 years since Maine Yankee began dismantling its reactors and shedding its 600 workers, this small, coastal town north of Portland has experienced drastic changes: property taxes have spiked by more than 10 times for the town's 3,700 residents, the number living in poverty has more than doubled as many professionals left, and town services and jobs have been cut.