The Cape Wind offshore wind power project has been the most contested renewable energy project in the country to date. It seems every couple of weeks brings a new objection to the project which would install 130 turbines off the coast of Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound. But Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has said he will issue a final decision on the project by April, putting an end to almost ten years of fighting.
Cape Wind stands to be the country's first major offshore wind installation. First announced in 2001, a series of complaints and lawsuits have held it back, mainly coming from groups who believe the wind farm, set to rise 440 feet above the surface, will ruin the natural beauty of the sound, and American Indian tribes who use the sound as part of their rituals.
Salazar will have to consider all of the complaints against just as many petitions from groups urging approval of the project.
In defense of the project, the designers have produced scale models of what the project would look like from the nearest shorelines (the closest is pictured above), and the turbines are barely visible. Also, the area is well-suited for wind power. The project would have a capacity of 420 MW and at average wind speeds for the area, could produce three-quarters of the Cape and Islands' electricity needs. But that doesn't mean some of the objections aren't valid. It will be a tough decision for Salazar and I don't envy his position.
For a refresher on the project here's a nice rundown.
via NY Times
written by Casey Verdant, January 14, 2010
written by Wind Technician, January 14, 2010
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