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Proposed Cape Wind farm


djlewis

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I'm curious what kayakers think of the Cape Wind farm proposed for Horshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Here's are a couple of views of where it would be...

http://www.harwich.edu/depts/hhssci/map.jpg

http://www.capewind.org/images/sitev02_i_composit.jpg

And here's a pointer to the official web site, which is obviously upbeat about it...

http://www.capewind.org/article7.htm

and for some balance, here's an anti

http://greennature.com/article1031.html

--David

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The earlier posting regarding the unconscienable concept of building an LNG terminal brought up the issue of what is needed to supply our energy needs and where any required additions would be located. From my point of view, the wind farm is a far superior alternative to smoggy skies, tar balls in the water, and the various other negative side effects to fossil fuel usage including global warming.

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Like most complex issues, there are some valid pros and cons. I'm sure that all the variations of opinions are well represented in NSPN as usual, as we are such a delightfully eclectic group.

Rather than reiterate a serious & mature take on the subject, I'll get right down to the inflammatory: I've been positively thrilled to watch the "cocktail environmentalists" of the wealthy southern cape beachfront come up with excuses why this is a bad idea. NIMB (not-in-my-backyard) has never been so beautifully and unjustifiably expressed.

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David:

It's a very emotional issue where some people do not want to see anyone or anything in their view, will not except change and refuse to respect the greater need to reduce greenhouse gases.

It's interesting to note that the wind farm will most likely benefit fishing in the area. The USCG has no objections. Massachusetts Audubon Society and Woods Hole Oceanographic support the project.

Something to think about:

Windmill point seems to be an acceptable attraction.

Minots Light, Boston Light, Graves Light and many other man made landmarks such as forts, etc. all add to the beauty and charm of the area.

If the windmill project were proposed by Christo, it would be considered art.

[http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/rf.html]

[http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/tg.html]

[http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/si.html]

Will the wind farm be an eye sore?

Maybe, maybe not.

My feeling is that the windmills will actually be a tourist attraction and a wonderful example of man's creativity in producing energy without adversely effecting the enviornment.

Richard N

Living to learn.

Romany, White with Blue trim

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I'm all for it. If it were of off Cape Ann I would be even more for it. Then I would be benefiting from the electricity it produces. Actually, I might still since I have chosen to use electricity from non-fossil fuel sources only.

It's unfortunate that in the short run, there will be some damage to the local underwater sea life while they are building them, but the long term benefits to the sea and land life are worth it.

Every time I drive home from the west, I see the smoke stacks of the Salem power station and the soot coming from them. This station is less than three miles from my home. I have no sympathy for those worried about their view on the Cape.

-Dee

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>I've been positively thrilled to watch the "cocktail

>environmentalists" of the wealthy southern cape beachfront

>come up with excuses why this is a bad idea. NIMB

>(not-in-my-backyard) has never been so beautifully and

>unjustifiably expressed.

Yup! Amazing how difficult these things are to accomplish when the neighborhood is anything but low-income. Using Hanscom airfield to relieve pressure on Logan is another example -- it's in the middle of Lexington.

OK, so the consensus seems to be -- while it may degrade kayakers' experience of that area, it's a really good cause that we generally support. Makes sense. (Not meaning to speak for anyone else, of course.)

There's a nice contrast also to the Harbor Island LNG terminal -- proving that it's not an absolute principle but a case-by-case deal. The Harbor Islands, IMHO, are an incredibly valuable, essentially unique urban recreational resource that would be severely compromised by an LNG terminal smack in the middle, complete with moving and moored supertankers. The Cape Wind Farm... excuse me... Park would really just be an annoyance at worst.

Of course, one man's annoyance is another man's unbearable intrusion. ;-)))

--David.

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I am looking forward to paddling out to see the wind farm. As a tourist to the area, I would consider it an attraction.

I am willing to bet that 100 years from now when the towers are rusting out the residents along that shore will be clamoring for their repair. The windmills will be considered a beautiful part of the landscape.

There are historic windmills on the Cape: http://www.windmillworld.com/world/capecod.htm These are not inherently beautiful, but they are a valued part of the local culture and people work hard to preserve them. The same will happen with the wind farm.

But even if they are horrible eyesores, ruin fishing for miles around and kill hundreds of sea gulls every year, there is always a price to be paid for our energy consumption. Better have it out where the consumers can see it than hide it away where we can pretend it doesn't hurt anyone.

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You can read about where your electricity comes from in MA here: http://massenergy.com/Green.FAQs.html

If you buy yours from National Grid (Not NStar like I have in the city here) I think you can put some of your money toward wind energy, take a look.

I logged some research by plane for Audubon a couple of years ago coz I have a strong stomach (conservation biologists can sure puke), I type fast, and I was interested. It was great fun for me (I especially liked seeing the big sea turtles and wacky ocean sunfish from the plane), though my teeny contribution was a very very tiny part of the work that went into tracking the terns (roseate terns were the biggest concern). I went in the plane feeling like a wilderness safety superhero expecting to have a "get out of our ocean!" reaction to the windmils, but came away ambivalent and later felt strongly that we need renewable energy no matter what and would support it. (I also came away impressed by the profession of tracker pilots, mine was off to track Right Whales I think next!)

I think the argument over whether they should be there is likely overshadowing some other problems relating to distribution and costs that may come up, but it's still a first step. I was also a little disappointed that the folk in charge of that research as far as I know didn't call up other organizations or even other wings of their own organization and compare notes etc. due to various internal blah blah. Various precautions have been studied as to placement and lighting of windmills in other areas and their impact on bird and mammal life. It will be very hard to track wildlife deaths in the ocean, so I'd like to know the precautions will be taken and other windfarms research will be studied, not just the flight of terns in the area the last couple of years. Some things are attracted to humming noises, for example. I also wasn't sure how much ocean life was studied, or the impact on the area oyster fishing etc. (I *think* that's what the lines of buoys I saw in those shallow areas were?)

At any rate, I think alternative energy sources now are our only chance, so I hope it is done well. And hey, I'll volunteer if anyone wants to get a research grant to study the impact of rich people's mansions on the Cape environment.

I drove cross country in Feb. and passed thru one of the areas of California full of windmills -- that group of three areas of them there is one of the oldest sets of them in use I think? (maybe that's in the USA) and together I think the statistic is that they could power the lights of San Fran. They are sculptural and quite mesmerizing and not even as streamlined as the newer ones.

Last summer I was doing an interview about coral reef rebuilding and was told about a Russian guy at Northeastern I think who has designed a very promising new turbine for tidal energy, too. I'm looking forward to hearing more about that.

--b

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>Some things are attracted to humming noises, for example.

Properly designed, there's no reason why the generators should hum. The one at windmill point is whipser quiet.

>I also wasn't sure how much ocean life

>was studied, or the impact on the area oyster fishing etc.

>(I *think* that's what the lines of buoys I saw in those

>shallow areas were?)

I don't have a chart, but does that area get shallow enough for oyster farming?

-Dee

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re depth:

the whole area is 10-20 feet deep, with a few tidal rocks. that's why the boat channels all go around it, and part of why it makes for a good inexpensive offshore site.

re noise:

noise is a major complaint about windmills. the big california sites have had troubles. the livermore one folds through some working ranchland, and the "whooshing" sounds of the blades combined with the 60 Hz transformer hum is pretty obnoxious, and has bothered the locals a lot. the tehachipi site is less used by the locals, so hasn't caused so many problems. recently, windmill designs use high frequency switching power inverters and DC bridges to match with line frequency of the local power grid, instead of a governer on the blades - this allows the windmills to run at any speed (i.e. whatever is optimum for the windspeed) and cuts way back on the 60 Hz hum. in any case, noise is another excellent reason why siting windmills offshore is advantageous.

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I believe that we are way behind in dealing with the environmental problems caused by the continued use of fossil fuels. The fact that our leaders in government have personal stakes in big oil just exacerbates the problem. Windfarms can provide power with minimal impact on the environment. They have to be installed somewhere and the fact that the first windfarm in this area will be in the back yards of the rich is just too @#&* bad!

I agree that someday, the mills will actually be an attraction that people will fight to preserve. Look at the windmills in Holland, can you imagine if anyone proposed something like that today?

This is a good thing and I would like to see some installed in the North Shore area.

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>recently, windmill designs use high

>frequency switching power inverters and DC bridges to match

>with line frequency of the local power grid, instead of a

>governer on the blades - this allows the windmills to run at

>any speed (i.e. whatever is optimum for the windspeed) and

>cuts way back on the 60 Hz hum.

This should also be a lot more efficient.

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