Library filed under Safety from Massachusetts
Federal aviation officials issued a report today finding that the Cape Wind project, which calls for erecting 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, would pose a "presumed hazard" for airplanes because of interference with air traffic control radar systems. "Initial findings of this study indicate that the structure as described exceeds obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect," the Federal Aviation Administration said in the report.
Last April the Federal Aviation Administration approved a proposal submitted by Notus Clean Energy LLC to erect a wind turbine in Falmouth Technology Park, determining that the structure would not be a hazard to air navigation. On Christmas Eve, the FAA sent an e-mail to Daniel H. Webb, owner of Notus Clean Energy, notifying him that the approval had been revoked.
Something awful happened in a conference room at a hotel in Falmouth on Dec. 18. The U.S. Coast Guard revealed itself to be totally politicized in its review of radar and safety issues arising from the plan of a Boston energy entrepreneur (Jim Gordon) to build a wind farm covering 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound.
This 292-foot wind turbine recently erected in Newburyport, MA is located just 319-feet from the public pedestrian rail trail, 350-feet from heavily-traveled U.S. Route 1 (in the foreground), and 800-feet from the nearest residence. See: http://www.windaction.org/faqs/18868 for information on potential safety risks.
This photo of the Newburyport wind turbine (292-feet tall) was taken from at the rear property line of a nearby residence. The residents in the area have expressed their concerns to the city about noise, flicker, ice throws and other safety issues.
The Coast Guard report, which is not yet released, reportedly considers the 130-turbine project in Nantucket Sound "doable" but some in the audience found the simulated radar scenarios more than a tad confusing as they tried to pick out the boats from the false echoes and turbine blades. ...There are short periods of time when the vessels are subsumed into the turbines," Rugger concluded. "Inside the wind farm there are a lot of secondary reflections, and often times it's hard to pick out the vessels from that."
In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthome dated Thursday, the congressman [Rahall D-WV] requests that the federal Minerals Management Service delay issuing its final environmental impact statement "until the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has provided the public 60 days to review and comment on a third-party review of the radar study submitted by the Cape Wind project developers."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently classified proposed wind turbine projects at West Tisbury School and the MV Arena (MVA) as presumed hazards to air navigation, given their location in the Martha's Vineyard Airport's flight paths. The FAA's decisions, which included recommendations for reducing the height of the two wind turbines, may literally take the wind out of the ice arena's project.
Now we find that Elecon, the manufacturer of the city's first industrial wind turbine, doesn't have that many clients either. This will be their first U.S. installation. How do we know their manufacturing standards are up to snuff? The Center for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) reported that 60 percent of the wind turbines survived a cyclone in Gujrat, India, in 1998. However, 14 out of 14 Elecon turbines were destroyed. Didn't anybody notice this? Elecon pulled out of the wind turbine business for a while, and now they are back in. Did anyone find out why?
One of the largest businesses in town is working toward going green. Decas Cranberry Company in South Carver has proposed installing a test tower to measure the wind on the property in an effort to determine whether a wind turbine would be a viable future energy source for the company.
I am extremely opposed to the location of the 300-foot, high wind turbine at the Mark Richey property, 49 Parker St. I am not opposed to alternative energy but, just as the discovery of X-rays had everyone getting new "pictures" taken, to later discover the ramifications of incorrect use of this technology, we cannot build enormous hazardous turbines in such close vicinity to habitable structures industrial and residential.
In his recent letter ("Wolf showed courage in supporting Cape Wind"), Elrick misrepresents the FAA's current position on Cape Wind and totally ignores the safety concerns of all three local airports. In fact, in a January 2008 letter to Rep. William Delahunt, the FAA cited a "presumed hazard determination" for Cape Wind due to concerns for local air traffic and radar interference to air traffic control systems.
...a 350-foot wind turbine may be too much of a good thing for Mountain Hill Road residents. ...The planning board made its decision Monday night, despite stiff opposition from neighborhood residents who packed town hall to protest the plan. ‘‘It's not that we're against wind energy, but the drop zone for one of the turbines would be within 85 to 200 feet of our neighbors,'' Mountain Hill Road resident William Gould said. ‘‘These things are monstrous, and they are right on top of our neighborhood. The impact would be devastating. ‘‘The bylaw says five acres and wind is enough for a turbine. If this is approved, what neighborhood is next?''
Massachusetts were shelved temporarily yesterday after officials were informed a wind turbine in Oregon collapsed and took a life four days earlier. Conveying the news, Michael Faherty, the attorney for Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, had to raise his voice over the noise of a helicopter hovering above Blackburn Industrial Park. The helicopter was brought in by Varian to show the council and community how high and visible the twin turbines would be. ... The towers would rise 328 feet from their bases with blade heights adding another 168 feet, for a total of 496 feet - roughly the height of a 30-story building.
OTIS AIR BASE - Plans to build a wind turbine at the base are on hold until officials figure out whether a turbine would interfere with the Air Force's PAVE PAWS radar station in Sagamore.
A recently released Department of Defense report calls for a 25-kilometer "offset zone" between possible wind farms and the PAVE PAWS radar installation in Sagamore. However, Cape Wind Associates' plan for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound would fall slightly more than two kilometers outside such a zone. According to the report, that means the proposed wind farm would not affect operations at the strategically vital defense radar site.
For several years US Congressman William Delahunt has been urging the United States Department of Defense to conduct a detailed study on whether the Cape Wind project 2 would interfere with the massive radar facility on the Upper Cape called Pave Paws 1. Two week's ago Congressman Delahunt changed his mind about whether the Massachusetts Military Reservation where the Pave Paws is located was a good place for a wind farm.
A long-awaited Department of Defense report has determined that commercial wind farms like the one proposed for Nantucket Sound could affect defense radar installations like the Pave PAWS site on the Upper Cape. The nine-page report, issued by the DOD's Missile Defense Agency, states: "Utility class wind farms could have significant impacts on radars, including the missile defense early warning radars."
"Whatever energy benefits this project may provide are far outweighed by the conflicts it imposes on the public's safety," said Vinick. "Radar interference is no longer a theory, but a demonstrated threat confirmed by DOD that Cape Wind must acknowledge. It is now time for Cape Wind to find a more suitable site for this project."
A June 6, 2007 article in the Falmouth Enterprise titled "Bill Delahunt Pushing for Energy Independence at Military Base," may have taken some Cape residents by surprise. We'd become accustomed to headlines touting the Congressman's concerns about possible radar disruption at the Massachusetts Military Reservation if the proposed wind farm were to be built in Nantucket Sound.