Notice of Lawsuit Filed on Cape Wind
Ian Fein

Setting up another potential roadblock for the offshore wind farm proposed in Nantucket Sound, the town of Barnstable and two groups of Cape Cod citizens last week filed notices of intent to sue the state’s top environmental official for his endorsement of the project.

The three separate notices serve as formal appeals of the certificate signed last month by Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, who found that developers of the Cape Wind project had fulfilled their environmental review requirements on the state level.

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Two Sides Debate Cape Wind Plan
Mike Seccombe

A forum bringing together those for and against the controversial Cape Wind electricity project drew more than 120 people to the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Thursday night and generated far more light than heat.

The forum, organized under the auspices of the Vineyard Haven library lecture and workshop series, was intended to establish a factual basis for further discussion of the project rather than encourage debate, and by that measure can be counted a signal success.

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Report Mixed On Cape Wind

A staff report released by the Cape Cod Commission this week gives a decidedly mixed review to the controversial plan by Cape Wind Associates to build 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal. The report finds that Cape Wind’s plan to connect the turbines to land in West Yarmouth through underwater electricity transmission lines meets only eight of 32 performance standards set by the commission.

In general, the staff report concluded, a good deal more information is needed in order to satisfy the requirements of the commission.

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Fishing Concerns Dominate Cape Wind Hearing
Mike Seccombe

A few things became quite clear at Wednesday night’s public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement on the Cape Wind project.

The first was that about twice as many Vineyarders, assuming those who attended are broadly representative of Island opinion, oppose the project as support it.

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Cape Wind Responds to Mr. Wattley
Mark Rodgers

In a recent piece published in this newspaper, Glenn Wattley made misleading statements about wind power and Cape Wind that I would like to address. Mr. Wattley is chief executive officer of the organization that formed solely to oppose Cape Wind, he has a background working in the coal industry, and he incorrectly argues that wind cannot help reduce our use of oil.

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Cape Wind Clears Key Federal Hurdle in Draft Environmental Report
Mike Seccombe

America’s first major offshore wind power generation project, Cape Wind, has cleared a key hurdle after a comprehensive federal environmental study found it would have no lasting major adverse impacts on wildlife, navigation, fishing, tourism or recreation.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the Minerals Management Service, running to almost 2,000 pages, will now be subject to a process of community consultation, but if no major new concerns surface, federal approval of the $1 billion project appears likely by around the end of the year.

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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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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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