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Wind farm foe raises $3.28M

The nonprofit group that has waged a five-year fight against a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound has reported another strong year of fundraising.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound raised $3.28 million in calendar year 2005, according to financial statements filed with the Internal Revenue Service this week.

While more than $1 million less than the revenue the Alliance reported to the IRS in 2004, the donations represent solid financial underpinnings for a campaign to derail Cape Wind Associates’ project, according to Alliance officials.

The plan to build 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal received a boost earlier this month when Deval Patrick was elected to be the next Bay State governor but it continues to face opposition from the Alliance and several influential lawmakers.

The Alliance has said Patrick’s support of the offshore project will have little impact on whether the 440-foot-tall turbines are ever built because the structures would be erected in federal waters.

The Alliance claims the proposal, which would create a 24-square-mile wind park, would have a negative impact on the Cape economy, could cause environmental damage to the Sound and would be an eyesore from beaches on the Cape and islands.

Total contributions to the Alliance since it was formed in 2001 are approaching $11 million, according to a press release attached to copies of its IRS Form 990 delivered to the Cape Cod Times.

A Form 990 must be filed annually by all nonprofit organizations with revenues over $25,000.

The Cape-based group spent $3.24 million in 2005, leaving the Alliance in the black by nearly $1.2 million.

The positive cash flow and money in the bank are evidence the organization is ”in it for the long haul,” said Audra Parker, director of strategic planning for the Alliance.

More than 80 percent of its grass-roots donor base contributed less than $500, Charles Vinick, the Alliance’s chief executive officer and president, said in the press release.

Vinick was paid $117,000 in 2005. The Alliance’s executive officer, Susan Nickerson, earned $97,000.

The drop in donations from the previous year is telling, according to Mark Rodgers, communications director for Cape Wind. ”I wonder if it could be related to how some of their previous donors now feel about the conduct and performance of the Alliance,” he said.

Rodgers also noted a list of large donor contributions made available with previous filings was not included in a copy of the Alliance’s Form 990 he received yesterday.

Such a list would be made available next week, according to Parker, who pointed out Cape Wind has never fully disclosed its own financial position.

Staff Writer Patrick Cassidy can be reached at pcassidy@capecodonline.com.