Library filed under Safety from Massachusetts
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.
Five years ago, when developers applied for a federal permit to build the world’s largest offshore wind-energy project off the Cape Cod coast, a widely held presumption was that the project ought to go forward because wind power is inherently good and that Nantucket Sound was as good a place as any to begin the off-shore renewable energy movement. But the Cape Wind project hasn’t moved forward and remains mired in controversy as evidence piles up that its developers chose perhaps the worst location. So, instead of leading the renewable energy movement into the future, Cape Wind may be imperiling that very movement by ignoring legitimate and serious flaws in its project.
Pentagon officials are calling for additional studies to determine whether the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound would impair a crucial missile detection radar system located on Cape Cod. In a special congressional report released last week, the U.S. Department of Defense found that wind turbines located within the line of sight of military radar can adversely affect its ability to track aircraft and other aerial objects. The results were based largely on military tests conducted by the U.S. Air Force and United Kingdom Ministry of Defence between 2002 and 2005.
A report recently issued by the Department of Defense indicates that commercial wind turbines have the potential to affect radar installations. The same report, undertaken at the request of U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Quincy, calls “overly simplified and technically flawed” a 2004 U.S. Air Force analysis which found that a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound would have no effect on its PAVE PAWS radar installation on the Upper Cape. The report further calls for a more exhaustive study of the wind farm and its relation to PAVE PAWS. Delahunt said Monday the issue of radar first came to his attention through Yarmouth resident Cliff Carroll, a vocal opponent of the wind farm project. Those concerns, Delahunt said, were reinforced by a short briefing on the subject by defense officials. That briefing prompted Delahunt to request a study, the findings of which were released last week. “I just wanted to have it done,” said Delahunt, who added that questions about the wind farm’s possible effects on such topics as military radar, commercial air traffic, fishing and navigation should be asked by everyone regardless of their stance on the controversial project. “This [report] is preliminary but it clearly ratchets up the concerns,” said Delahunt, who also opposes the project. “We need some reassurances.”
The Cape Wind proposal reared its head in last night's gubernatorial debate, the second of four meetings among the candidates before November's election. While it came as little surprise that the issue would emerge as political sniping fodder, a comment made by independent candidate and Cape businessman Christy Mihos received an icy reception from Cape Wind officials reached after the debate. ''The government has put a moratorium on it,'' Mihos said of the 130-turbine offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. Mihos framed his comment at the Springfield debate around a U.S. Department of Defense report released last week that raised questions about the effect of industrial-sized wind turbines on military radar.
A recently released report by the Pentagon recommends a closer study of the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound to ensure turbines do not interfere with military radar systems.
Defense officials say large, industrial wind turbines such as those proposed for Nantucket Sound can interfere with military radar systems if built in the radar's line of sight, according to a report released yesterday. Based on the report's conclusions, the officials have asked for more analysis about whether the proposed 130-turbine Cape Wind project would interfere with an Air Force radar station in Sagamore. The 62-page report, prepared for Congress by the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, specifically concludes that previous analysis of the effects on the PAVE PAWS radar station were ''overly simplified and technically flawed.'' The report calls for a more comprehensive study ''on an expedited basis.''
"On Friday, June 23, we issued a unilateral order regarding the failure of their erosion controls and that it was a violation of the permits we issued," Tor said. "We ordered them to correct the control failures and submit a plan for addressing the problem areas."
...my role as a successful international maritime safety and security expert has persuaded me to express serious concern about the effect these projects will have on Buzzards Bay, Martha's Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound.
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders reached an agreement on the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm that would give the head of the Coast Guard -- but not the governor of Massachusetts -- the power to order changes to the project or scuttle it entirely if he finds that it would interfere with navigation.
While Cape Wind has targeted politics and well-funded opponents as the culprits, the real issue -- and villain -- is the utter recklessness of building a massive industrial-scale project across 24 square miles of Nantucket Sound.
Concerned about findings in the United Kingdom, the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct its own evaluation into the effects of wind turbines on air traffic control systems.
...as the reality of the largest proposed offshore wind plant in the world comes into sharper focus, it becomes clear that 130 massive wind machines spread across 24 square miles of the sound threaten not only marine life and wildlife but also public safety.
The top half of one of the 100-foot windmills, with its broken turbine and missing blades, lies on the ground at the Princeton Municipal Light Departmentwind site.