Harnessing Wind Power at Aquinnah Cliffs

Today is the right time for Aquinnah to opt for energy independence and conservation with a major town-owned windturbine at the Gay Head Cliffs area.

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Wind Turbines Are New Trend

Emily Bramhall had already replaced the incandescent light bulbs at home and in her store with low-watt fluoresecents, helped her daughter buy a hybrid car and taken other steps to reduce her carbon footprint. Now she wanted to go further, and start making her own electricity.

But, as Kermit the Frog once sang, it’s not that easy being green, and Ms. Bramhall’s plan to install a wind turbine on her Chilmark property met some resistance before the town zoning board of appeals this week.

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Debate Intensifies Before Island Wind Farm Forum

More than 3,200 written submissions have been received in response to the draft environmental impact statement on the Cape Wind project, and the federal Minerals Management Service has been forced to extend the deadline for comment by a month so yet more can be made.

The original 60-day period for comment was to have ended on March 20, but now will run until April 21.

Cape Wind has proposed building 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. The company has said that the wind farm could generate up to 420 megawatts of power.

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Project Would Meld Wind Power, Fish Farm
Mark Alan Lovewell

More than 15 years ago, Brian Braginton-Smith of West Yarmouth came forward with an idea to meld wind power and aquaculture in what he envisioned as an “ocean ranch.”

Mr. Braginton-Smith’s proposal was the seed for what became the controversial proposal by Cape Wind Associates to place 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal south of Cape Cod.

The visionary now has separated himself from Cape Wind, saying he is concerned about the impact such a project would have on what he sees as an environmentally fragile fishing ground.

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First on Water, Now on Land: MVC Pauses Wind Power Plans
Jim Hickey

Despite ongoing protests from a handful of small farmers, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission last Thursday continued on its path to develop regulations for wind turbines at sea and on land, voting to designate a sweeping land-based district of critical planning concern (DCPC) for airspace over the Island.

The vote was 12-0; it follows a vote by the commission six weeks ago to create a wind DCPC over the waters around the Island.

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Aquinnah Voters Adopt Rules on Wind Turbines
Megan Dooley

After nearly two years of rejections and revisions, Aquinnah voters agreed at a special town meeting on Tuesday night to adopt a bylaw to regulate private and public wind turbines. Crafted as an amendment to the townwide district of critical planning concern, the bylaw is the first of its kind to be adopted on the Vineyard.

But approval did not come without a wide-ranging debate that was at times passionate.

“If you believe in global warming, I think you should pass this,” declared selectman Jim Newman.

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Island Asked to Join Federal-State Task Force on Big Wind
Mike Seccombe

A major wind turbine development near the Vineyard is at best a stopgap measure, and the real energy future lies in federal waters, state energy and environmental officials told Islanders this week.

“The state’s interest, long-term is not in state water,” Deerin Babb-Brott, one of the senior bureaucrats driving the state oceans plan, told local community leaders at a public meeting at the regional high school Wednesday night. The interest is in federal water, at the extreme limit of visibility, or completely over the horizon, he said.

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Plan Okays Turbines in Vineyard Waters
Mike Seccombe

As many as 166 wind turbines, generating enough electricity to power some 200,000 homes, could be built in Vineyard waters under a state draft ocean management plan released on Wednesday.

The plan sets aside two areas, one on the far side of Noman’s Land and the other off the Elizabeth Islands, as the sites which would provide almost all the offshore wind power for the state of Massachusetts.

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Tribe Says Draft Ocean Map to Allow Turbines May Spoil Scenic Views
Mike Seccombe

A proposal to allow the only commercial wind farms in state waters close to the western end of the Vineyard has been advanced without due consideration of the views of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), tribal historic preservation officer Bettina Washington said yesterday.

Under the draft ocean management plan released last week by the state, as many as 166 wind turbines might be built in two areas, around Noman’s Land and off Cuttyhunk, as near as three miles offshore.

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More Clean Energy

Great Rock Windpower installed and commissioned the first off the production line endurance model S-343 wind turbine in Edgartown last week. The S-343 has a rotor area of 343 square feet, runs at 166 RPM and is rated at 5.3kW. It is designed to produce more power at lower wind speeds than its predecessors.

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