Library filed under Safety from Massachusetts
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.
"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 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."
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.
HYANNIS - Sure, there's global warming to consider. And the fate of the fishing industry. But for the aesthete, a more pressing question about the Cape Wind proposal: What color has the developer picked for the 130 wind turbines it plans to erect in Nantucket Sound? A nice "ivory," perhaps? Maybe an "old lace?" No precise word yet. "I don't have any 'Martha Stewart eggshell,'" said Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind Associates, the Boston-based company behind the proposed project. Still, one thing is clear: The gray-blue the company envisioned a few years ago is out. And an off-white ("seashell," perhaps?) is in ascendance. The switch, it turns out, has as much to do with airplanes as aesthetics.
DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland. Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity. But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."
HARWICH - Community wind energy is facing another setback, the town's utilities and energy conservation commission Chairman Barry Worth told selectmen Monday night. Three months ago, Worth reported to selectmen the town's ability to install commercial turbines in the 400-foot range with a 1,500 kilowatt capacity is seriously limited because of the proximity to Chatham Municipal Airport.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command said it has checked and rechecked and still believes a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound would not affect its PAVE PAWS radar station in Sagamore. “Everything that the Air Force Space Command is saying indicates that [the turbines] would not be tall enough to interfere with operations,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Gentry, commander of the Air Force 6th Space Warning Squadron, Cape Cod Air Force Station, the group responsible for running the radar facility. But wind farm opponents, specifically the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, point to a larger study now being undertaken by the Department of Defense, one that won’t be available until spring. That study, says the Alliance, will be more comprehensive and was itself prompted by issues with the Air Force’s initial analysis. “Until we have a written report in hand that we can review to understand the parameters of the study, it would be inappropriate to offer comment,” said Charles Vinick, president and CEO of the Alliance. “It is my understanding that there is a larger study under way and it would be premature to offer conjecture on what that might find.”
Large scale commercial wind power generation suffered a setback in town with a recent study based on Federal Aviation Administration standards limiting the height of turbines in air space on the approach to Chatham Municipal Airport. The study, conducted by Aviations Systems Inc. of Georgia, cites the potential for height restrictions on large wind turbines over much of the town. Barry Worth, chairman of the town’s utilities and energy conservation commission, said this week the report is under study, but it is clear regulations “limit the size and kilowatt ratings to be put up.” The study comes at a time when the board of appeals is scheduled to address a variance request to allow a commercial wind turbine at The Depot, a commercial business located along Depot Street in North Harwich, adjacent to the town of Dennis.
LYNN - Construction of a 397-foot wind turbine tower proposed for the city’s waterfront could necessitate minor changes in flight patterns around Logan International Airport. The tower’s tip would penetrate 83 feet into airspace designated for takeoffs and landings around Logan. Water and Sewer Commission officials have asked federal officials to consider an adjustment in landing guidelines for Logan aimed at steering aircraft around the tower. That request requires a review as detailed as any required for the turbine before its construction is approved. Federal aviation authorities will not be the only contributors to the review.
Michael Gross, communications director for Cape Cod Community College, admits he was surprised when the Federal Aviation Administration had concerns about the original campus location of a proposed wind turbine. “I never noticed it until we got the determination,” he said, “ and then I must have seen five airplanes come over the Burger King the next week.” Responding to the FAA, the tower’s sponsor, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and college officials are looking at a new site just past the college’s service entrance on Route 132 in West Barnstable. The change is part of the agenda for a community meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in Grossman Upper Commons at the college.