Cape Light Compact and the cooperative have come under fire from critics of land-based wind turbines who question the transfer of funds between the organizations and whether there is proper oversight of the agencies' activities.
BARNSTABLE – The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates has voted to form a subcommittee to investigate the activities of two regional energy agencies. Again.
The county’s legislative body approved a resolution at its regular meeting Wednesday at the Barnstable District Courthouse to create the subcommittee to address concerns about the relationship between the Cape Light Compact, the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative and the county.
The assembly’s vote, which is weighted based on the population of the towns the delegates represent, reflected a deep divide over the issue.
Those in favor of forming the subcommittee garnered 50.44 percent of the vote; those against, 42.98 percent. The delegate from Dennis, representing 6.58 percent of the vote, was absent.
“I believe this is the simplest, easiest and cleanest way to do it,” said the resolution’s sponsor, Harwich delegate Leo Cakounes, in response to a competing proposal that the full assembly request officials from the compact and the cooperative appear before it to answer questions.
Cape Light Compact and the cooperative have come under fire from critics of land-based wind turbines who question the transfer of funds between the organizations and whether there is proper oversight of the agencies’ activities.
In July, the assembly voted to move forward with an inquiry into those concerns but because the measure was approved by 50 percent of those present, not 50 percent of the full assembly, it was later deemed invalid by the county’s attorney.
Wednesday’s decision to move forward with the subcommittee investigation came the same day Barnstable County commissioners rejected a series of resolutions proposed by opponents of wind energy calling for the executive board to act on a two-turbine project in Brewster and other activities of the compact and the cooperative.
The cooperative was formed in 2007 to pursue renewable energy projects for its members, which include a dozen local towns. It has received more than $2 million from the compact to keep it afloat.
While the cooperative is moving forward with an 18-megawatt solar energy project in about a half-dozen towns on the Cape and Vineyard, the agency has struggled to successfully complete a wind energy project, focusing its efforts most recently on Brewster.
Cape Light Compact was created in 1997 to buy energy in bulk for residents on the Cape and the Vineyard, as well as to provide energy-efficiency programs.
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