Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Massachusetts
A plan to build what could become the first large offshore wind farm in the United States would be effectively killed by a proposed amendment to a Coast Guard budget bill now making its way through Congress, people on both sides of the issue say
These examples show that offshore wind technology is advancing so rapidly that sacrificing Nantucket Sound for a project like the one currently being proposed is shortsighted. In the near future, the public could get the same benefits from building an offshore wind plant farther out to sea with far fewer negative impacts, and at the same time avoid being saddled with what may well become an obsolete technology.
Which comes first, a set of guidelines or a specific review? That's the latest question being asked in the saga of a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound.
As for what Orleans would get out of the deal, although the figure would have to be negotiated between the town and the developer
The proposed Cape Cod wind farm may face another hurdle because of a defense bill passed by the Senate yesterday that calls for government to study whether the windmills interfere with military radar. The proposed 130-turbine park, to be built in Nantucket Sound, is near a missile defense surveillance system.
"..I urge MMS to wait until it establishes guidelines to all offshore wind projects before it acts upon an individual project, such as Cape Wind. In my opinion, the review of this project at this time would make little sense and would undermine the goal of developing comprehensive guidelines that establish the specific criteria for reviewing such projects, including those that specifically protect the interests of any state affected by the project.
The Hawley Wind Study Committee was established by town meeting vote and was directed to issue a report to the selectmen. Interested citizens were asked to submit a letter of interest to selectmen who then selected the committee. The committee first examined potential positive financial benefits to the town. Community based wind development was explored for a piece of town-owned land with the assistance of the UMass Renewable Energy Resource Lab. The committee determined that development of the site was not feasible. Lengthily discussions on the associated various negative impacts of wind plants followed. It was determined that our current bylaws would not require any form of local review to minimize these impacts. A report outlining the above was provided to the selectmen concluding that the appropriate course of action was to establish a wind power bylaw.
The purposes of this wind-generated energy production facilities section are to: A. Protect the scenic, historic, environmental, and natural or man-made resources of the community without prohibiting alternative energy technologies to be developed. B. Provide standards and requirements for regulation, placement, construction, monitoring, design, modification and removal of wind facilities. C. Provide a procedural basis for action within a reasonable period of time for request for authorization to place, construct, operate, or modify wind facilities. D. Preserve property values. E. Locate wind facilities so that they do not have negative impacts such as, but not limited to, attractive nuisance, noise, falling objects, general safety, welfare and quality of life, wildlife and the environment in the community. F. Require owners of wind facilities to configure them so as to minimize and mitigate the adverse impact of the wind facilities.
Is it all worth it? We need to bridle our inherent optimism for emerging technology with lessons learned from the past.
Hilltowns need to make sure their interests are taken into account when distant investors and persons advocating this technology, who won't be hosting it in their backyards, eye our ridgelines for their projects
This power point presentation addresses the issues and suggests strategies for achieving changes in local zoning and planning regulations.