Wind Forum Stirs Debate as Task Force Remains Skeptical
Peter Brannen

With Rhode Island Sound now looming as the next frontier for wind development near the Vineyard, the Ocean State’s Gov. Donald Carcieri summed up his state’s energy policy this month with a single phrase: “Spin, baby, spin!”

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The Birds and the Breeze: Wind Power Critics Meet Mass Audubon
Letters to the Editor

Extensive Research

Mass Audubon’s position on the Cape Wind offshore renewable energy project has been the subject of much discussion and debate. Some critiques of our action have no merit or basis in fact. We are providing the following information to clarify our involvement in the review of this project.

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Divided Supreme Court Ruling Favors Cape Wind
Mike Seccombe

Cape Wind has won another round in the battle over construction of a wind farm in Nantucket Sound, in a 4-2 split decision in the state’s highest court.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this week rejected a challenge to the so-called super-permit given to the wind farm developers by the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) in May 2009, covering nine state and local permits related to the connection of the wind farm to the electric grid.

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Scientists Study Bird, Sea Life Before Turbines Go Offshore
Peter Brannen

Wind farms have long provoked a certain cognitive dissonance among environmentalists, who favor renewable energy but oppose the negative impacts of turbines, including bird strikes and habitat displacement. The effects of turbines on bird populations are fairly well understood after a decade of European experience but less is known about their impact underwater, especially on local species of whales and sea turtles.

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Offshore Wind Developers at Ready
Peter Brannen

Wind developers pressed ahead on two fronts this week, as two new players entered the fray with proposals to develop wind farms in waters west of the Vineyard and Cape Wind put the final touches on a deal to sell electricity to National Grid.

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Interior Secretary Approves Cape Wind
Mike Seccombe

The federal government has given its blessing to the development of Cape Wind, America’s first big offshore wind farm, on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.

The Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced his decision to approve the project, with only minor changes, at a joint press conference with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in the state house in Boston at noon on Wednesday. In words suggesting a conclusion to the nine-year controversy, Secretary Salazar called his approval “the final decision of the United States of America.”

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Our Turbines, Our Future
Alexander Trowbridge

Because so many Vineyarders have been stirred up by the Cape Wind Project and because our various governing bodies are wrestling with the issue of residential wind turbines, isn’t it time we had a rational, non-emotional discussion of the future of wind power on our Island?

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Cape Wind Clears Hurdle to Nantucket Sound Wind Project
John H. Kennedy

The state’s highest court this week rejected a wide-ranging challenge to a power contract between Cape Wind Associates and the utility National Grid.

In a pair of decisions, the Supreme Judicial Court sided with the state Department of Public Utilities, which last year approved the contract calling for Cape Wind to sell 50 per cent of the wind project’s power to the large utility that serves millions of consumers in Massachusetts and three other northeast states.

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Wampanoags Sue in U.S. Court Against Cape Wind Associates
Mike Seccombe

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has filed a lawsuit to try to block the development of the Cape Wind project on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.

In a statement issued Friday, the tribe announced the tribal government had authorized the long-threatened lawsuit against the Department of the Interior‘s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which has approved the 130-turbine wind farm.

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Documentary Looks to Air Both Sides of Cape Wind
Mike Seccombe

Let’s face it, there are few pursuits more quixotic than that of journalistic objectivity. The preview screening of the documentary movie Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle in Oak Bluffs on Tuesday night provided a perfect illustration of the point.

For 84 minutes, the film explored the issues involved in the controversial Cape Wind development. Then for another hour or so its makers were subjected by audience members to a torrent of claims and counterclaims about their objectivity.

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