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Cape Wind opponents see it in deeper waters

European experiments with deep-water wind farms are raising hopes among opponents of the Cape Wind project that giant turbines could one day be built farther out to sea than previously believed. Talisman Energy has recently installed two giant turbines about 12 miles off the coast of Scotland in waters as deep as 150 feet. The so-called "Beatrice Project" is considered one of the first major pilot programs to test the technology needed to build turbines in deep waters. Other deep-sea pilot projects are being eyed in Germany and Britain.

European experiments with deep-water wind farms are raising hopes among opponents of the Cape Wind project that giant turbines could one day be built farther out to sea than previously believed.

Talisman Energy has recently installed two giant turbines about 12 miles off the coast of Scotland in waters as deep as 150 feet. The so-called "Beatrice Project" is considered one of the first major pilot programs to test the technology needed to build turbines in deep waters.

Other deep-sea pilot projects are being eyed in Germany and Britain.

By comparison, the proposed Cape Wind project would install 130 giant turbines in 50 feet of water just six miles off of Cape Cod and the Islands.

Audra Parker, director of strategic planning for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound - which has battled the Cape Wind project - said the Beatrice Project and other preliminary moves in Europe prove that Cape Wind Associates, the developer backing the proposed $1 billion-plus Cape wind farm, doesn't have to build so close to land.

Moving the proposed wind farm farther out to sea would mean fewer navigational disruptions and eyesores in waters near the Cape and Islands, she said.

"It... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

European experiments with deep-water wind farms are raising hopes among opponents of the Cape Wind project that giant turbines could one day be built farther out to sea than previously believed.

Talisman Energy has recently installed two giant turbines about 12 miles off the coast of Scotland in waters as deep as 150 feet. The so-called "Beatrice Project" is considered one of the first major pilot programs to test the technology needed to build turbines in deep waters.

Other deep-sea pilot projects are being eyed in Germany and Britain.

By comparison, the proposed Cape Wind project would install 130 giant turbines in 50 feet of water just six miles off of Cape Cod and the Islands.

Audra Parker, director of strategic planning for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound - which has battled the Cape Wind project - said the Beatrice Project and other preliminary moves in Europe prove that Cape Wind Associates, the developer backing the proposed $1 billion-plus Cape wind farm, doesn't have to build so close to land.

Moving the proposed wind farm farther out to sea would mean fewer navigational disruptions and eyesores in waters near the Cape and Islands, she said.

"It is achievable within the same time frame," she said of Cape Wind's goal of installing turbines by 2010 or 2011.

Parker asserted that Cape Windwants to build so close to land in order to save money and "maximize profits."

Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind Associates, and other proponents of Cape Wind, say the technology and economics of deep-water wind farms just aren't there yet - and may not be for at least five years, if not longer. They note that Europe now has about 13 offshore wind farms in shallow waters - and that technology has been proven.

Seth Kaplan, senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation, said deep-water projects are "promising." But that doesn't mean Cape Wind should wait.

"It's not a matter of whether to build in shallow or deep waters. It's more about, ‘Well, we've got to do both,"' said Kaplan, warning that the environment is being harmed by overreliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity.

Laurie Jodziewicz, a policy specialist at the American Wind Energy Association, said deep-water technology still has to tackle a number of thorny issues, including the stability of towers in much rougher seas.

Also, the farther out to sea, the more expensive wind projects become, especially for laying down undersea transmission lines that ultimately would connect to a region's land-based electric grid system, she said.

Still, there is plenty of research being done in America on deep-water technology.

Last fall, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced one of its scientists is working on technology in which towers would be attached to buoys, or floating platforms.

But experts have said that technology is at least 15 years away from becoming viable.


Source: http://business.bostonheral...

AUG 5 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/10458-cape-wind-opponents-see-it-in-deeper-waters
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