I do not see any long term harm in harnessing the offshore winds from Nantucket Sound. However, some do disagree on the proposed construction of large wind turbines to be situated in the sound.
My thoughts on the proposal are that these turbines should be created but in areas that will not negatively impact local fisherman, navigation (air and sea) or harm the environment. Both private industry and a concerned public need to be able to find common ground on the creation of supplemental and renewable energy sources.
First some background. Cape Wind Associates has applied for a lease and right of way to construct and operate a wind park located 4.7 miles offshore in Nantucket Sound. The proposal consists of 130, 3.6 megawatt wind turbine generators with the capacity to generate 468 megawatts of electricity. They will generate enough power to supply 75% of the Cape and Islands power demand or enough energy to power 200,000 homes. The turbines will sit 247 feet above federal waters and cover 25 square miles.
If the proposal is approved, the Cape and Islands can expect the following:
* The Mirant Power Plant, located on the Cape Cod Canal can be shut down except on days of peak power demand. It currently costs $9 million dollars a month to keep the plant up and running at 70% of its capacity.
* The turbines could offset close to a million tons of carbon dioxide every year and should produce enough electricity to offset the consumption of 113 million gallons of oil annually.
* The project would decrease the amount of oil shipped to the Cape Cod power plant via ship; fuel for this plant has been part of two major oil spills (Dec 1976/Apr 2003). The 2003 spill killed 450 birds and shutdown 100K acres of shellfish beds.
* CLEAN RENEWABLE POWER!
81% of adults support the project.
61% of Cape residents support the project.
14% of adults oppose the project.
I think the numbers also say it all.
There will be more public hearings on the topic throughout the Cape and Islands but in the end, the beauty of the region will not be tarnished.
For people to put their view of the Atlantic Ocean from their summer homes above a way to remove ourselves from the dependency on oil and its derivatives is shallow and self serving. For people to not see and appreciate the return on such an endeavor is also disheartening.
For me, seeing a turbine ‘breaking wind’ will provide all the relief I need, and knowing that 61% of Cape Codders… came, saw and conquered.
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