1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Any thoughts on Cape Wind?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by mikepinto65, Feb 8, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    684
    Loc:
    Webster, MA
    Just wanted to tap into the thoughts of forum members here regarding the ongoing Cape Wind debate. I did a quick search and didnt come up with anything so sorry if im bringing up something that has already been covered.

    To those outside New England, The Cape Wind Project is a $900 million proposed offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod in Massachusetts (41°32′31″N 70°19′16″W / 41.542°N 70.321°W / 41.542; -70.321Coordinates: 41°32′31″N 70°19′16″W / 41.542°N 70.321°W / 41.542; -70.321) proposed by a private developer, Cape Wind Associates. If the project moves forward on schedule, it will become one of the first offshore wind energy projects in the United States. The project has been fought by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, formed in 2001 to oppose the proposal. (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Wind)

    Cape Wind has been in review/debate for 8 years now. President Obama's interior secretary, Ken Salazar, pledged this month to decide whether to approve Cape Wind by the end of April.

    Developers say the project will be able to provide 75 percent of the Cape's electricity with 130 turbines, each about 440 feet tall, erected in Nantucket Sound. The developers stand to benefit as a major electricity provider to a state aiming to create enough wind power capacity to power 800,000 homes by 2020.

    Opponents say the project is a hazard to aviation and wildlife,interferes with sacred rituals which require an unblocked view of the horizon and would be built on a long-submerged ancestral burial ground of the Wampanoag tribe, and would mar historic vistas, including the view from the Kennedy compound (Edward Kennedy was against the project greatly). They want it moved out of the sound to an alternate site Cape Wind says is not feasible.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,716
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I am all for it. To date all of the industrial wind in the NE has been sited out on rural areas on mountain ridges due to the NIMBY attittude. The wind resource off the coast is very reliable and getting a high visibility project in place is going to improve the chances that more will get approved. There is plenty of technology available to keep ships from running into the turbines and ultimately I expect that marine life will adopt the column bases. As for bird strikes, this is pretty well a non issues these days. now that they dont use lattice towers.

    One thing good about the delay is that the technology has been steadilly improving.

    IMHO it would have been built long ago, except that the rich folks dont want to look at them.
  3. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    I'm for it as well.
    If we want off of FFuels we'll need wind in the mix, so the towers have to go somewhere. I do think there are areas where they're inappropriate (eg in & around Nat Parks, monuments, wilderness areas, beside the airport:) ...) but 'away from wealthy peoples view' is not a valid criteria IMO. The towers are not proposed very close to shore, didn't I read somewhere they would appear only 1" high on the horizon from the Cape?
    As an aside: I didn't see extensive public consultation & legal battles when cell towers went up all over the country (must surpress cell-tower rant :shut: ) , so why wind turbines stir-up so much emotion is a mystery to me.

    "hazard to aviation and wildlife,interferes with sacred rituals which require an unblocked view of the horizon and would be built on a long-submerged ancestral burial ground of the Wampanoag tribe, and would mar historic vistas"
    I haven't read any Env Impact Assessment or anything, but these sound pretty weak. How could it be a danger to aviation if there's now an unblocked view of the horizon? Are planes, ships & boats excluded from the area during those rituals? Is the hazard to wildlife greater than those posed by speedboats, freighters, tankers & commercial fishing? Seems like a false bargain. Would anyone ever have found the under-sea burial ground if Cape Wind was never proposed? I'm not ideoligically against Native Rights, I just think this is an example of some powerful people using any means necessary to derail a project that would inconvenience a few & benefit many.

    The real solution is a project to overlay wind resource mapping with power delivery corridors, cultural, commercial and environmentally sensitive areas to find & delineate the most productive & least harmful areas for wind development. Then auction of wind rights in those areas. But of course that'd have to be at the federal level & the process would become a big ball of political infighting, corruprion, states rights, NIMBYism... So instead they'll be proposed & fought 1 by 1. The side with the most clout & money will often win regardless of the facts. Just one cynics opinion
  4. Later

    Later New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    456
    It seems as though the easiest way to start a feud around here is to mention "wind farm". IMHO most of the opposition is from those who don't have the royalty contracts.
  5. dougstove

    dougstove Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    NIMBY.
    I think wind towers are beautiful.
  6. Later

    Later New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    456
    They are very sculptured man made structures - the same as the things that folks "OOH and AHH" over.
  7. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    834
    Loc:
    Central NY
    You have to put the generation where it is needed. If not this, then something else needs to be done. People have to be realistic.
  8. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    389
    Loc:
    Pine Barrons, L.I., NY
    /rant

    They where/are (don't know if was shot down yet) to put a farm 20 miles south of Jones Beach. The last I heard was it would be an eyesore!? 20 f'n miles off shore, and it's an eyesore? This is an area where we are importing electric for N.J. (Neptune Cable) and trying to tap Connecticut across the Sound. L.I. has the highest rates in N.Y., and possibly the country.

    All of our local electric is either Nat. Gas or coal. They killed the nuke in Shoreham about 20yrs ago - and still paying for it. Granted, the wind farm will NEVER be able to produce enough electric for L.I., but it might ease the dinos some.

    /end:rant


    I think turbines would be great - we are always getting some sort of wind between the Atlantic and the Island, due to temperature differences, so they would be producing at least 85% of the time. Heck, even our town hall has one on the property, and it's about in the middle of the Island.
  9. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Loc:
    Palmer, MA
    We have a house in sandwich, and i am currently involved with wiring some high end houses on martha's vineyard. I say put those suckers in and make them extra ugly to ruin the rich yuppies views.

    The current 8000 sqft monstrosity i am working on is designed to be 'green' yet it has around 8 tons of air conditioning and literally 230 recessed lights. It needs it's own damn power plant!
  10. brogsie

    brogsie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    254
    Loc:
    eastern MA
    Who's going to take them down when they're broken and rusted?
    What if they effect the fisheries?
    If they work so well why do they have to be susidized by the tax payers?

    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    Good point: demolition or rebuild @ end of useful life should be part of the licensing agreement.

    Fisheries: The Env Impact Assessements have to look at effects on the ecosystem. Not saying they are perfect, but these things ARE studied. The footprints of the towers are pretty small relative to their overall size, I'd guess biggest impacts would be during construction & could be eased by controls. Off-shore windfarms have been built already in Europe where environmental laws are generally tougher, so these issues aren't ALL new. Studies from the UK & Denmark: http://www.offshore-sea.org.uk/site/scripts/book_info.php?consultationID=16&bookID=11.
    http://193.88.185.141/Graphics/Publikationer/Havvindmoeller/Offshore_wind_farms_nov06/index.htm The danish study (post construction) found no significant effect on fish populations around the farms & the possibility of some effect around the transmission lines.

    Oil, gas, coal & nuclear are subsidized big-time by taxpayers & have been for a long time. Those (maybe not nuclear) are very profitable, mature industries that shouldn't need subsidies at all. Fed energy subsidies graph: http://www.eli.org/pdf/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_Green.pdf
    So unless the Feds eliminate those, they'll still need subsidies to even the playing field at the least & more if we want to encourage U.S.-based renewables.

    I'll take wind turbines over coal mines in my paradise any day.
  12. woodmeister

    woodmeister New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    lower ct. river
    How to deal with them when they've reached their end of life should be a major consideration. Just look at the nukes that paid into a fund for the disposal of spent fuel during their years of operation, they get decommissioned and there is nowhere to go with the spent fuel so it gets encapsulated on site - where did all those dollars go?
  13. brogsie

    brogsie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    254
    Loc:
    eastern MA
    midwest,

    I think the windfarms are a good idea.
    I just don't trust the companies.
    I hear ya about the coal mines.
    Just seems like a bg risk to throw those things out there like that.
    Doctors use to say cigerettes are good for you. What if there is something they don't understand
    and end up killing all the striped bass in the area?
  14. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Good example woodweister......exactly the probem they are having with the Nuclear PP in Vermont.....going to be interesting on how that one goes.

    I don;t see Cape Wind ever taking off now that the land is on a Historical Register now......I'd put a tower in my backyard, but the town wouldn't be too happy.....hell, we can't even get a cell tower here :)
  15. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    684
    Loc:
    Webster, MA

    First off, sorry for not being around for my own thread....for some reason I didnt get any email notifications to this.

    Some claim it could be a danger to aviation due to physical or electromagnetic interference with air navigational systems. The area also deals with heavy fog conditions and could pose a problem for passenger ferries (and perhaps planes i suppose).

    Im not too sure about restrictions during the ritual process, but I doubt they would close the area off.

    I think the biggest environmental impact I can find is that migratory birds have a chance of hitting the turbines, but im not 100% sold it would even take that much of a toll on them.
  16. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    The area is pretty far from big airports in Boston & Providence; I think those are the closest? I could see interference with the small planes going to the islands, but is that really enough impact to justify blocking a project of this size? There's also a military base near Falmouth, so of course they'de have those Osprey's crashing into the towers all the time %-P
    EM interference seems like a red herring to me. Planes are flying over major sources of EM waves all over the place (power plant, high voltage lines...). Don't see a difference.
    Fog, ferries, commercial boats, pleasure boats, small planes & giant wind turbines would not be a good mix, that's for sure, and they would be spread over a big area, so just going around wouldn't work too well. Maybe they should have to leave some wide, open shipping channels for safe passage.

    As Peakbagger said bird-strikes have turned out not to be a big problem with the large turbines. The rotors are so huge that chances of a hit when flying through them while turning is tiny & birds seem able to avoid the solid towers.

    Isn't the bigger issue here that we're stuck in a reactive mode, responding to placement proposed by the corporations looking to maximize profit? Wouldn't it be better to map-out areas for wind development beforehand so everyone knows what the parameters are? Then folks could stop sqaubbling about each individual project & instead squabble about a line on a map :cheese:
  17. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    As a human and a parent I am in favor of anything which reduces the use of fossil fuels.
    As a native Cape Codder who lives in Yarmouth, on Beach Road, I am unconcerned about the visual effects.
    As I retired commercial fisherman I can tell you that the proposed location is dead centered on a tradional fishing shoal, which under present laws, will no longer be navigable.
    As a specialty mechanic who often flies to the islands I can say that the proposed location is well out of normal flight paths and the top of the towers is six hundred feet below the minimum safe flight.
    As a regular ferry comuter to Nantucket and Martha Vinyard I can assure all that the ferry lanes are far clear of the proposed location.
    As a homeowner in the area to be serviced by this windfarm I am making every effort possible to be energy independent by the time the windfarm causes local electric bills (already the highest in the nation) to tripple.
    I feel bad for those unable to generate their own electricity. Many will be forced to leave the Cape. The average bill for a small family home here is $200/month (not electric heat).
    The oposition groups are funded by the owners of coal fired electric plants.
  18. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I was dead set against it.
    Mostly due to Cape Wind (and principles) WalMart techniques regarding regulations and concerns, especially environmental ones. Thier initial flawed eis was just a tad short of criminal.
    Anyone who thinks this is going to be cheap power is drinking way too much of the KoolAid.

    That said, I'd prefer the first in the water farm in the U.S. be a bit smaller at least for a first phase.

    In part to prove which fish would be driven out and which would find shelter there. Still largely an unknown.

    Having seen many of these operations in Northern Europe - it is about time we started doing the same.

    Visually they are not as disappealing a view as cell and radio towers.


    I want a gaurantee for no billboards on them of any kind .
    Not even political bumper stickers. :)


    Air and sea navigators shouldn't have much trouble navigating the edges of this farm.
    Might even become an aide to navigation - both air and sea.
  19. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    Good to have local perspectives on this.
    Dune, why are elect rates going up? Is there a levy on consumers being put to the project?
    Any merit to the arguements for moving the location further off-shore?
  20. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    I wish I knew. One thing for sure is that the cost of installing these towers in the ocean as opposed to on land is significant. Just the huge 7 mile long cable to bring the power ashore alone, never mind the forty story tall transformer platform, the added expense of making the windmills and towers corrosion resisitant, etc.

    The cost projection was done by the Federal Minerals and Mining Administration or whatever it is called. They had a lot of jurisdiction over this project and Cape Wind never invalidated their figures.

    As far as the more offshore sites, I would say that their use is valid, since many permit applications have been filed since the Cape Wind project started and most of them are for the offshore spots.
  21. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,030
    Loc:
    Principality of Pontinha
    Don't they sink ships to ADD to fisheries? All power is either directly or indirectly subsidized by the taxpayers. Even coal is shipped on heavily subsidized rail. Imagine our oil bill if we didn't have a 300 billion dollar defense budget.

    I'd like to know what its going to look like. They should put up one tower to see what it would look like, and then I could decide. Personally, I think wind towers look cool but who's getting the deal? Will the citizens who are giving up their rights to build their own wind turbines on that spot get a break on the power? Why don't a bunch of rich bastards from the Cape get together and get everyone free juice?

    I can't stand the idea of giving someone permission to sell you something you could've have given yourself.
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    How did you save all that money?

    The cost of wars and defense this year is estimated at 800 billion to 1 trillion. The actual cost is higher. If we could get it for 300 billion, we'd be in fat city!
  23. devinsdad

    devinsdad Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    226
    Loc:
    northern NY
    There are several wind parks around my area within 50 miles and I haven't gotten a discounted rate yet. One did collapse not so long ago. Where did all that hydraulic fluid go?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page