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Although Cape Wind has taken the first steps necessary for construction, the project's completion is still not on the horizon. The company has secured all of the major permits required to begin construction but faces several lawsuits and at least two appeals of its Federal Aviation Administration approval.
The project was overwhelmingly defeated by island voters at Town Meeting in March, but the revival of another turbine proposal for the Madaket landfill, albeit a smaller, less expensive model, is already generating controversy and ill will.
Francis Waterman of the town Water Department wants to explore the possibility of a wind development on a 440-acre swath of town-owned land located off West Mountain Road with a feasibility study, but the state's Article 97 conservation restriction allegedly stands in the way.
In 2011, Princeton residents' electric rates were 36 percent higher than the average rate in Massachusetts. The average PMLD customer using approximately 800 kilowatts per hour of energy a month paid $516 more for electricity in 2011 than the average Massachusetts customer paid. In 2011, the wind turbine project lost $628,000. From Jan. 1, 2010 through June 20, 2012, the wind turbine project has lost $1,875,000.
This letter written by Princeton Municipal Light Department's (PMLD) General Manager, Brian Allen, offers a candid assessment of the utility's two-turbine (3.0 MW) project. The turbines have failed to live up to expected production levels. The project has also been plagued by technical problems. Rather than reducing rates for customers, the project lost $1.875 million and will continue to lose $600,000 yearly under current circumstances. Excerpts of the letter are provided below. The full letter can be read by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
With seven wind turbines queued up for construction in Plymouth, a group of residents has submitted a petition for a fall Town Meeting article that would set a two-year moratorium on more permits. During the break, the Planning Board would conduct a "comprehensive review of the existing bylaw . . . in light of the reported health impacts and widespread litigation in neighboring communities," the proposal states.
FAIRHAVEN - "You can hear them pulsing tonight."
A wind turbine project proposed at Plymouth North High School generated so much opposition it was withdrawn, as was another plan to site a wind turbine in a junkyard on Columbus Road. A wind turbine is slated for Colony Place near Walmart, but abutters aren't exactly thrilled about this project either.
Federal court appeal filed as Congress continues investigation into political pressure on FAA review of Cape Wind
"(G)et cape wind done by sept. 30. That's important to the president," Issa quotes Silver as saying in an email to loan program senior adviser Peter O'Rourke.
The Kingston Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday night found no fault with the special permit process or the issuance of building permits for the Independence and O'Donnell wind turbines.
"We have huge health problems with the turbines here in Fairhaven, and instead of dealing with that we are entering into more long-term contracts with developers," said Louise Barteau, a West Island resident who went to Beacon Hill last month to lobby against the bill.
The group overall was open to the idea of personal wind power, but did not like the idea of industrial power for a series of reasons. They cited health issues for both wildlife and people, as well as noise, noting the controversial "wind turbine syndrome." Scenery and property values were also a concern. ...There were also concerns of "regional abuse," in which the eastern part of the state benefits more.
"Borrego would like us to include a provision in the RFP for the successful proposer to take over the net metering agreement already in place with NStar and to use their plans that are already permitted." ...Borrego wants to be compensated but it can't be a requirement of the proposal.
Now, 16 months later, the Gardner turbines still aren't working, leaving taxpayers stuck with a nearly $10 million bill for the still-inoperable equipment. ...The summer is also when the Charlestown wind turbine, overseen by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, is supposed to be running after overcoming its own delay. The turbine needs a new foundation after the original one settled more than expected.
In a joint letter sent Tuesday to FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta, the Republican chairmen of two House committees reiterated concerns about references to the highly political nature of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm raised in internal agency emails and other documents. ...
"Obviously these bills serve to further those goals," she said. "We've also pointed out that the costs to consumers are substantial." The proposed changes to the law would cost the utility's customers an estimated $350 million, Pretyman said. The push for more renewable energy and the consequent benefits and costs are policy decisions that are in the hands of lawmakers.
The congressmen asked the FAA to provide various documents by July 31, including any communication about Cape Wind over the last 3 1/2 years between the agency, Cape Wind, federal officials and the White House. It also flatly asked the agency to answer if it was influenced by political considerations, including the U.S. Interior Secretary's 2010 approval of the project and the Obama Administration's desire to promote green energy projects.
The logistics still need to be worked out. However, the state Department of Environmental Protection has agreed to commission a sound study of the impacts of the Independence and O'Donnell wind turbines. Town Planner Tom Bott informed the Kingston School Committee Monday night of this, explaining that one of the reasons for the study is to address residents' concerns about the impact of the four wind turbines on their health and safety.
When it came time to seek a consensus on the issue, council President Diana Serra found there was no resolve to continue discussing or studying wind. Anthony said he would prefer to focus on ways to reduce the town's energy expenses with less risk and a more immediate payoff.