Bloomberg News provides the latest status on the oft delayed wind power farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. The project calls for 130 wind turbines, each with propellers 440 feet high to be built 6 miles offshore.
“Opponents offer a long and varied litany of objections. Birders fear the spinning turbine blades will threaten avian life. Fishermen say the 24-square-mile array of windmills on Horseshoe Shoal will stifle a productive fishing ground. The Massachusetts Historic Commission claims Cape Wind will have an “adverse effect” on 15 historically significant sites — among them the Kennedy Compound in Barnstable. Most recently, opponents say the wind farm is a national security threat, since the turbines could, in theory, interfere with military radar.”
Opponents to the project includes Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy (whose Kennedy Compound is within sight of the planned turbiines), Republican Governor Mitt Romney, the International Wildlife Coalition, the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, and the Wampanoag Tribal Council
The turbines are slated to provide 454 megawatts of power, which is enough electricity to provide 75% of Cape Cod’s needs.
The Cape Wind spokesman has an interesting take on the matter – ““Every benefit and impact is being evaluated,” says Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers. “At the end of the day the project will be found to be in the public interest.” He claims, and there’s much evidence to back him up, that local residents care less for real environmental impacts than they do about alterations in the look of their “backyard,” as if federal waters are theirs. “Some people will say it looks horrible. Some people will say it looks cool,” says Rodgers”
There are some new and potentially interesting parts in the article. Robert Kennedy Jr. has proposed that the wind farm be moved further offshore. This idea is backed up by research from MIT that shows that floating and tethered wind turbines far offshore are fiscally and technically sound. In fact, studies have shown that the wind blows harder and longer the further offshore you go.
Many alternative energy and wind power watchers say that the outcome could hinge on the November election for Governor.