Articles from Massachusetts
BREWSTER - The Cape and Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative is hosting a forum at the Brewster Ladies Library June 3 on the health effects of wind turbine noise.
More than 75 Quincy residents gathered at Squantum Elementary School on Monday to question officials about a wind turbine ..."I'm a total believer in wind power, but at what point does solving one environmental issue create another?" said Steve Kolander of Squantum, adding he would prefer several smaller turbines with less of a visual impact on the island.
One of the five wind turbines proposed for private property in South Plymouth may be missing from the plans presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals next month, but it won't be forgotten. The Planning Board voted 2-1-1 Monday night to recommend the installation of four 328-foot tall wind turbines on cranberry bog owner Keith Mann's property.
National Grid says it might pull its natural gas and electricity business out of New Hampshire because regulators have rejected its plan for new rates, although it has not made any formal notification for such a move. The British-based company provides electricity and natural gas in scattered locations around the state.
Representatives from NStar met with developers of the Cape Wind energy project yesterday, but neither party would say whether the utility is closer to becoming a customer of the proposed wind farm. An NStar spokeswoman, Caroline Allen, confirmed that the meeting took place in Cape Wind's Boston office, but would not provide any more details.
State Department of Public Utilities officials will be on the Cape tonight for the first of seven public hearings statewide on National Grid's request for a rate increase beginning Nov. 1. And they'll be back in the area next month to hear comments on National Grid's proposal to buy half the power from the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm.
Clean-energy proponents who want to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels celebrated last month when the federal government approved the nation's first offshore wind farm off Cape Cod, Mass. ..."It's a taxpayer rip-off," the Maryville Republican said. "It creates a puny amount of very expensive electricity. Taxpayers in Tennessee will be paying extra for it because of the taxpayer subsidies. And it will destroy a very beautiful Nantucket Sound."
A plan to construct a data tower on the island of Muskeget has put a conservation deal between town officials and the Snow family in jeopardy after several years of negotiations. ...But the town is now seeking language in the conservation restriction that would allow it to erect a temporary data tower in order to gauge the feasibility of an area south of Muskeget for a 10-turbine, 50-megawatt offshore wind farm.
NStar established a program for residents to subsidize wind farms in Maine and upstate New York, willingly tacking on $4 to $7 to monthly bills. Subscribers don't get those specific electrons, but they do contribute to greening the grid. National Grid offers a similar option. But out of 1.1 million Massachusetts customers, only 6,137 have signed up. Likewise, NStar's program is used by just 8,000 of its 1.1 million customers.
A community meeting will be held on Monday to discuss the city's joint proposal with Boston to install a wind turbine on Moon Island in Boston Harbor. ...Quincy and Boston officials are proposing to develop a 1.65 megawatt wind turbine on the island, which is owned by Boston but falls within Quincy's city limits and requires approval from the city's planning board.
The three wind turbines at Noquochoke Orchards are sitting idle months after they were installed. Officials at the orchard said it's not for lack of wind, but for lack of reaching an agreement with the local power company NSTAR.
The state's top attorney, a supporter of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm, is the lead advocate for electric ratepayers who might be affected by the project's cost. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking for $150,000 from National Grid to hire experts to review a proposal by the utility to buy half the power from Cape Wind Associates LLC.
Town Administrator Jim Merriam had a passive response to the death knell provided to the wind turbine project at May town meeting. He said he knew during town meeting after the very first vote that almost everyone in the gym at the community center was against the $8 million wind turbine project.
Representatives for the utility company NStar will meet with Cape Wind officials on Monday, NStar says. "They requested a meeting and we obliged," said NStar spokeswoman Caroline Allen. "We assume they want to talk about a contract, and we'll consider it as we would consider any other long term renewable energy contract."
While a lawsuit is holding up the completion of the $46 million wind power project on Brodie Mountain, the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. is midway through a project to install new utility poles from Brodie Mountain through Lanesborough to get the wind power to the public utility grid.
I suspect that most, if not all, of the residents who voted against the turbines, agree with Mr. Elrick that the Gulf oil spill is a disaster. But to then draw the conclusion that the way to counter this is to place 400-feet wind turbines in residential areas stretches the point, and defies common sense. An oil spill disaster of this magnitude might have been avoided with better impartial oversight and foresight.
It only took the Zoning Board of Appeals 10 minutes at Thursday night's meeting to approve the special permit for Minuteman Wind LLC's proposed five-turbine wind farm on West Hill -- ending more than year of negotiations. Minuteman Vice President Steven Weisman said that if all goes well getting Conservation Commission approval, the company hopes to break ground either late this fall.
Plans for the wind turbine on Town Farm Road changed again last month when the turbine supplier, AAER of Canada, filed for bankruptcy protection on April 8. "Once again, we're faced with figuring out the most viable, cost-effective way to proceed," Utilities Director Tim Henry said in a prepared statement. "Fortunately, we have options."
State Attorney General Martha Coakley is requesting up to $150,000 to retain "experts and consultants'' to help review an agreement by the utility company National Grid to buy half of the power generated by the proposed Cape Wind energy project. ...The question for many, said consumer advocate and lawyer Jerrold Oppenheim, is how much is too much for renewable energy?
Critics of the Cape Wind project are questioning whether three regulators handpicked by one of the biggest backers of the proposed wind farm can render an impartial verdict on the development. ...Audra Parker, head of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said she's worried the DPU is stacked with Cape Wind proponents.