Cape Wind Opponents Want Wind Farm Of Their Own

tuckernuck island
While details are still not clear, it seems that long time Cape Wind opponent William Delahunt (along with town officials from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard) want to build their own wind farm just south of Tuckernuck Island.

This wind farm has nothing to do with Cape Wind and would be a completely separate proposal. The idea already has approval from some interesting bodies including the Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission. The Director of the development Commission Andrew Vorce said he wants to work with a developer (other than Cape Wind), and that the project could benefit Nantucket island. Really? You think a wind farm might benefit your island. It’s a shame no one has thought of building a wind farm any place near Nantucket. Wait, now I remember, Cape Wind has been trying to put one up for the last 6 years. Why the lock out of Cape Wind, arguably the one company best suited to be building wind farms in this area?

Something smells fishy (and its not low tide) about the way this “proposed project” is moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I think a wind farm off of Tuckernuck would make a nice addition to Cape Wind. New England is hungry for renewable energy and we need all the well sighted wind farms we can get. Currently the site is designated an alternative location for Cape Wind, as determined by the Minerals Management Service (MMS).

“We’re not considering this as an alternative to Cape Wind. We’re looking at this for the benefit of Nantucket,” Vorce said. “The town of Nantucket isn’t going to be building windmills, but what we’d like to set up is a climate or environment to attract a private partner to do that and out of our participation, make sure our local needs are met.” (via)

Wait I am confused again. You want a private partner to come and make money off of public land? For the last six years I have heard a steady stream of arguments against this very idea. Could it be that there are far fewer Kennedy Compound Residents err rich property owners view sheds err I mean Yaht Owners, umm birds south of Tuckernuck. Tuckernuck shares the same bird and marine species as Nantucket Sound, and I imagine would have a similar impact on the environment (see a comparison of the sites here pdf), so the arguments that Delahunt has been raising in relation to the “appropriateness” of the site seem to boiled down to the view, and only the view. It seems simple, Ted Kennedy says “not in my back yard” and Delahunt said “right away boss.” It’s really a shame because on so many other issues Delahunt is really amazing.

Delahunt went so far as to co-sponsor a bill (hr2036 pdf) that would create a 30 square mile “zone” three miles south of Tuckernuck.

The Board of Selectmen in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard has also endorsed the concept of an offshore energy zone south of Tuckernuck, and recently stated that it is interested in expanding the energy zone so that it extends to waters off the south shore of Edgartown, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

So far the details of the proposed project are non-existent. For all we know they are planning on putting up one or two turbines and calling a it a day, or they might want to put up thousands. It’s too early to know exactly what Delahunt and friends are up to. We can hope that this turns into a vibrant example of private/public partnership and results in lots and lots of clean renewable energy. In no way however should this be touted as a “replacement” for Cape Wind. The proposed project site for Cape Wind is the best possible site. It has a wonderful combination of wind, protection from waves, and shallow waters. The only drawback being that it is smack in the middle of a couple very rich peoples view sheds.

If Delahunt, and his buddies are really serious about offshore wind development I wish them all the luck in the world. I hope they set up ten such wind farms up and down the coast. I will reserve judgement till more facts come out, but deep in my gut I get the feeling that somehow this will end up being yet another way for them to try and kill Cape Wind.

2 thoughts on “Cape Wind Opponents Want Wind Farm Of Their Own”

  1. the windfarm would connect to the islands exissting transmission lines which would limit its size to less than 30 MW…

  2. Not bad, Maratha’s Vineyard and Nantucket could offset a lot of their power usage with that kind of resource. If that really is the limit to how much they can build I would increase the transmission cable so they would be able to sell some back to the Cape.

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