It’s been said before but this could be the year the fate of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm is finally decided.
If developer Jim Gordon finds a buyer for the second half of the project’s power or NStar agrees or is forced to buy it, the 130-turbine project could once again stumble forward. If, however, the Federal Aviation Administration cannot convince a U.S. Court of Appeals that the project will pose no hazard to air travel, it could be dead in the water.
Financial support for Cape Wind is another open question, even though Siemens officials have said they would not only build the turbines but would also be willing to help bankroll the project. Throw in several pending federal lawsuits and it adds up to another year of potential ups and downs for the project’s supporters and opponents.
Further offshore there still aren’t any projects that have come as close as Cape Wind to being built despite furious efforts by the federal government to set up a leasing program and get “steel in the ground.”
On land, the prospects for many more large-scale turbines springing up on Cape Cod are diminishing as local opposition becomes more organized and influential.
The fight against individual projects, such as those proposed in Brewster and Dennis, will continue as will the ongoing debate over what to do with the turbines that have caused intense rancor in Falmouth.
Residents near Wind I at the town’s wastewater treatment facility – the poster child for the pitfalls of building a turbine near homes – have stopped its operation for now but with the town having invested so much money, the debate over what to do with the controversial turbine will undoubtedly continue.
A long-awaited report by a scientific panel convened by the state to investigate possible health impacts from turbines was expected out at the end of 2011 but has been pushed to the new year.
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