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 Pays Visit to Wampanoags
Mike Seccombe

Federal Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar came to the Vineyard and Cape Cod on Tuesday to consult with Indian tribes opposed to the Cape Wind development, then held a press conference on the wind farm site in Nantucket Sound to say that the meetings had not decisively moved his view of the project.

Secretary Salazar said he was “very bullish” about the future of offshore wind energy in general, but that all options were still open regarding Cape Wind’s plan to build 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal.

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FAA Says Yes To Cape Wind
Mike Seccombe

The Federal Aviation Administration this week gave its imprimatur to the Cape Wind development on Nantucket Sound, but with expensive strings attached.

In its decision, the FAA determined the 130-turbine wind farm would have “no substantial effect” on air traffic, but also insisted the project developers pay for the upgrading of radar covering the area.

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Vineyard Fishermen Sue in U.S. Court to Block Cape Wind Associates
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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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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Tribe Spurns Offer From Cape Wind To Pay $1 Million
Mike Seccombe

Martha’s Vineyard’s Indian tribe rejected a $1 million inducement to drop its objections to the proposed Cape Wind development in Nantucket Sound, in the interest of preserving a cultural tradition which some tribal members deny even exists.

The offer from Cape Wind was made during a series of meetings convened by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Washington in January this year. Both the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe were offered $1 million each, to be paid in installments over 20 years.

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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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