In the coming year the Vineyard and Gosnold communities will be deciding what kind of wind energy development we want, both on land and offshore in state and federal waters. We’d like to give the community an update on preparation of a Wind Energy Plan for Dukes County, an effort begun early this year by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission with the help of a work group made up of representatives of the seven towns of the county.


Like David against Goliath, the Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fishermen’s Association and a well-known Menemsha draggerman last week filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, claiming that the giant wind farm planned by Cape Wind Associates for Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound threatens to put Island fishermen who work the shoal, including squidders and conchers, out of business for good.

The advertisement by the P.O.I.N.T. (Protect Our Islands Now for Tomorrow) organization in the May 28 edition of the Gazette contained a series of arguments that I think need to be addressed one by one. Many of the individual points are accurate and we should not ignore them, but the general thrust of the ad is very misleading. It seems to argue that the best way to deal with our energy need is to get it from somewhere else.

U.S. Department of the Interior Secre tary Ken Salazar made a big point of saying recently that wind development had to be done right and in the “right places.” No one can disagree with those sentiments, and they were certainly issued for public consumption. However, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), which is under his control, doesn’t seem to have heard him, or perhaps just tuned him out.

Federal authorities plan to open up almost 4,000 square nautical miles of ocean near the Vineyard for potential wind power generation.

A draft Request for Interest (RFI) map presented to a renewable energy task force meeting of state, local and federal representatives on Wednesday identifies a vast arc of ocean, extending from the Rhode Island border, southwest of the Island, across to the south of the Vineyard and Nantucket, then running north and east to the entrance to Nantucket Sound.

A divided Martha’s Vineyard Commission last Thursday clashed over whether the technical language in a recently adopted Aquinnah wind bylaw is in synch with a townwide district of critical planning concern (DCPC) approved over 10 years ago.

In the end the commission voted 7-6 that the new bylaw — drafted by the planning board and approved by voters at a November town meeting — does not conform with the guidelines of the townwide DCPC.