Library filed under Technology from Massachusetts

Board votes against Dennis turbine

The 3-1 vote reversed last month's decision by a Dennis committee of the historic district to allow the 164-foot-tall wind turbine at a shellfish hatchery operated by the Aquaculture Research Corp. in Dennis. ..."It's in a sensitive wetland area."
29 Sep 2010

Where does your power come from?

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.
23 May 2010

Wellfleet wind turbine plan hits turbulence

A tempest is brewing over the proposed wind turbine at White Crest Beach. Last week, vandals absconded with the stakes used to mark the site of the turbine. This week, a large group of Outer Cape homeowners gathered at National Seashore headquarters to voice their objections to the project. And it appears that the vice-chair of the Wellfleet Energy Committee, which spearheaded the project, has resigned.
16 Jan 2010

A wind farm even skeptics can support

But a new proposal for a deep-water, off-shore wind farm answers all the skeptics' objections and, in addition to its environmental benefits, could be an economic boon to southeastern Massachusetts. Blue H USA LLC has recently installed the world's first deep-water windmill off the coast of Italy and now wants to bring that technology to the South Coast, which has been referred to as the Saudi Arabia of wind energy because of its dependable North Atlantic winds. Rather than fight critics, Blue H has embraced their concerns and worked to satisfy them, maximizing the positives of the technology while minimizing the perceived negatives. The solution? Locate the turbines out to sea on floating - but stabilized - platforms similar to oil rigs, far away from any people or animals.
14 May 2008

Our View: Powerful winds

Wind energy opponents often rattle off a litany of objections: Windmills aren't aesthetically pleasing (a notion many dispute); they pose a danger to migrating birds; they're noisy; they're inefficient and expensive. But a new proposal for a deep-water, off-shore wind farm answers all the skeptics' objections and, in addition to its environmental benefits, could be an economic boon to Fall River. Blue H USA LLC has recently installed the world's first deep-water windmill off the coast of Italy and now wants to bring that technology to the SouthCoast ...It turns out answering the critics is actually a benefit to the technology, as 90 percent of the potential energy from wind is well offshore in deep water.
11 May 2008

Fickle winds limit local energy options

In some parts of the state, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, wind turbines are springing up to power municipal offices, homes, and businesses as a push for cheap alternatives to fossil-fuel energy continues to mount. But in the suburbs west of Boston, where green sentiments often run deep, one major hurdle stands in the way of environmental advocates and energy cost cutters - insufficient wind speeds. ...The Stow Board of Selectmen has discussed building a wind turbine on town property, but its chairman, Stephen Dungan, said the panel found local wind speeds were simply not high enough to make it pay off. "Basically, the option wasn't there," he said.
16 Mar 2008

Proposal could calm storm over wind farm; Floating turbines stir hope, interest

A new proposal for a wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard is promising what people on all sides of the Cape Wind debate can embrace: turbines in a location where nobody has to see them. Blue H, a subsidiary of a Dutch company, announced this week that it wants to build 120 floating wind turbines in deep water 23 miles off Martha's Vineyard and sought government approval to install a test turbine. Company officials then joined with the main opposition group fighting Cape Wind's proposed wind farm off Cape Cod in touting Blue H as a viable alternative that would be far from ferry lanes and invisible from shore. "If you had a horse and buggy and then the automobile was invented, it makes sense to embrace the technology moving forward," said Blue H spokesman Martin T. Reilly.
15 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Wind firm touts deepwater alternative

In what one Cape Wind official called an "eyebrow-raising" development, plans for a deep-water wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts will be unveiled only hours before the start of a public hearing Monday on Cape Wind's proposal to build 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound. Blue H USA LLC will announce plans for a floating deep-water wind energy project 23 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard and 45 miles from New Bedford, according to a representative for the company. ...The Alliance has long contended the Sound is not the right place for a wind farm and a deep water site would provide more wind resources.
8 Mar 2008

4 more wind turbines in Hull?

Hull officials are moving ahead with plans to build four offshore wind turbines capable of producing enough electricity to power the town. An application filed last month with the state calls for erecting four power-generating windmills on a shoal known as Harding’s Ledge, roughly 1.5 miles east of Nantasket Beach. ‘‘This would be the first offshore series of wind turbines in the country,’’ Hull Town Manager Philip Lemnios said. ‘‘We had such a favorable response to our two land-based turbines, the townspeople are pursuing the offshore options.’’
15 Jan 2008

Snow puts off skiing; Power outage delays opening of slopes at Jiminy Peak

Jiminy Peak and its 1.5-megawatt wind turbine were shut down yesterday morning by weather-related issues, delaying the ski resort's opening by two hours. But the mountain also reported 8 inches of fresh snow to close out a busy holiday season. ...National Grid reported lost power that affected the ski resort and about 84 customers in North Adams. The outage caused the $3.9 million wind turbine - known as Zephyr - to lose its juice. ...The 236-ton, 386-foot-tall turbine was installed in August and is expected to provide about 60 percent of Jiminy Peak's power and to pay for itself in seven years. But it can't run by itself. "If there's no power on the grid, there's no power to the turbine. It can't spin," said Katie Fogel, a spokeswoman for Jiminy Peak.
31 Dec 2007

Cape Wind boss hopes for shift in attitudes

Gordon expects the federal report to closely parallel the state's positive environmental impact report issued by Bowles. But even if the federal report is favorable toward Cape Wind, it does not mean an end to the fight, something Gordon readily admits. "I don't want to be naive about legal challenges," he said in a telephone interview yesterday while on a family vacation in Vermont. But with public opinion polls indicating majority support for the project statewide, he imagines a day when even his detractors will come around. "I'm hoping that even the opponents, diehard opponents, will hopefully have a shift in their attitude and hopefully stop trying to delay and obstruct a project that is needed and enjoys growing support," he said.
28 Dec 2007

Safer nuclear reactors pre-empt wind as powerful gift to heirs

Sunday is National Children's Day - and what better gift to our local heirs than to assure they have plenty of clean power, undiminished shorelines and fresh air 35 years from now. ...Speaking of clean power, this column recently favored stalling the proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoals and sliding it to the back burner to await signs of new interest on the nuclear side of the wind/nuclear power equation. Wind turbines and nuclear reactors produce clean power, but there is a wide disparity in the amount each can produce, nuclear reactors achieving the significantly higher and consistent output.
12 Oct 2007

Nantucket, Edgartown, UMass join forces on tidal energy

In contrast to the town's hesitancy to dive headfirst into wind energy projects proposed for Nantucket Sound - 61 percent of the voters in a special non-binding referendum at the April 11, 2006 town election said no to wind energy in Nantucket Sound - all the commissioners expressed their excitement for the emerging field of tidally generated electricity.
8 Aug 2007
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