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No place for turbines  

Before I had heard about the Cape Wind project, I had been studying windmills. I had spoken to a man from England who sells windmills. The idea sounded practical. After studying the Cape Wind project, talking to fishermen, wildlife experts and local environmentalists, I feel strongly that Nantucket Sound is not the place for this power plant.

My cousin who lives in Scotland sent an article from her local paper. The wind farm there is radically affecting the migrating bird population. Another cousin in California says the bat population cannot gauge the inconsistent movement of the turbine blades and are being killed.

This proposed wind farm is a giant experiment. If approved, this will be the first in-the-water wind farm in the country. The whole East Coast has been mapped out for future wind farms. Politicians, businesses, and communities are waiting for the outcome of this proposal.

This is not tried and true, works like a charm, low-impact, high-yield technology. This is a “let’s take this beautiful, ecologically sensitive, federal land and build an energy plant the size of Manhattan and oh, by the way, we don’t know how it will affect the birds and fish and, oh yeah, you’ll only get 13 percent of the electricity we produce” experiment.

Cape fishermen have fished the waters around the Cape and Islands for generations. They know these waters as well as anyone can. When these men and women say this wind project will harm the fishing industry, make navigation dangerous and cause massive shoaling, we would be wise to take notice.

We do not know what fish and wildlife will be affected by this project. This is an experiment and a risk we cannot afford to take.

We are talking about a project the size of Manhattan. One hundred and thirty turbines made of steel with concrete bases that will be driven into the seabed. Each turbine will be taller than the Statue of Liberty. Electricity will be used to start them up each time they stop and, like any machine, need oil to run. Each turbine will have to be well lit. I imagine the light pollution will be substantial because of the navigational hazards the turbines would impose and because of the hazards to air traffic. There will be noise pollution as well, both above and under water.

Rather than turning over beautiful Nantucket Sound into a super-big, destructive, and dangerous power plant, I would like to see our elected officials set forth a comprehensive plan to reduce the use and waste of electricity.

Please join me to oppose Cape Wind project on March 12, at 5 pm at the Performing Arts Center. To give testimony online or for more info, go to saveoursound.org.

Susanna Nickerson


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