[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

24 turbines – anywhere but here  

Credit:  By jrodolico, Climatide, climatide.wgbh.org 27 July 2011 ~~

On August 3, the Cape Cod Commission (CCC) will lift a moratorium on wind energy development in state waters off Cape Cod. The map shows where two-dozen turbines can and cannot be located.
The Process

The CCC convened a Policy Committee composed of a selectman from each of the Cape’s 15 towns. They were essentially given a map and asked to color within the lines. The CCC hoped this would give every town a voice in the process.

The moratorium gave the CCC 15 months to determine rules and restricted areas for coastal turbine siting. In 2009, the state’s Ocean Management Plan allocated 24 coastal turbines to the Cape, and the map above shows where those turbines can go.

While the regulation passed the CCC last week, it still needs to pass a vote with the Assembly of Delegates to be official. But as of now here’s what this map means.

Prohibited Areas at a Glance

A quick look at the map reveals that a lot of space is off the table. Everything in the green boundary is within the CCC’s jurisdiction. So where did all the red come from?

The entire Cape has a two-mile turbine buffer intended to protect recreational uses. This buffer was extended on the eastern Cape (from Provincetown to the islands south of Chatham) to protect the Cape Cod Ocean Sanctuary. All of Buzzards Bay and most of Cape Cod Bay are off limits because of sensitive species (endangered Roseate Terns and critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, respectively.) You may notice there are no markings within 1500 feet of shore; that area is not within the CCC’s jurisdiction, so turbines proposed there would be subject to local municipalities.

That leaves a couple chunks of ocean in Cape Cod Bay, and a big swath of water in Nantucket Sound. While 24 big turbines could all fit within the limited waters in the bay, most of the real estate is in Nantucket Sound. Interestingly, this swath of sea borders the proposed home of Cape Wind – an industrial wind farm that will be home to 130 turbines.
What This Does Not Mean

There are no proposed turbines in these waters yet, and legally all future proposals must come from towns (or some municipal-private partnership). Towns like Truro, which do not border any water where turbines would be allowed, could join an electricity cooperative with neighboring communities. Also, this says nothing about turbine size: We could see 24 660-kilowatt turbines, 24 1.5-megawatt turbines, or they could all be varying sizes. All the turbines could be in one spot, or they could be scattered around the seascape. Until a project is proposed, there’s no saying what it will look like.

Paul Niedzwiecki, the CCC’s Executive Director, says the proposed rules contain minimum performance standards to protect eelgrass, fish stocks, view sheds, and other resources that you cannot draw a boundary around.

“I think there will be an appropriate level of concern,” Niedzwiecki says, “that more of Nantucket sound is not subject to the kinds of protections that could be reflected on the map. But I would direct all of those towns toward the minimum performance standards, which I think do provide a much better process and much better local protection than the Cape Wind process did.”

Basically, these regulations provide a framework for siting turbines in the Cape’s near shore waters. Whether or not the Assembly of Delegates approves the regulations, the moratorium on development will end on August 3.

Source:  By jrodolico, Climatide, climatide.wgbh.org 27 July 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.