On the Issues: Cape Wind’s 9-year Delay
After being held up for nearly a decade due to conflicts over the economical benefits and potential environmental harms, the Cape Wind project will become the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
Cape Wind will consist of 130 wind-powered turbines that will be placed in the Nantucket Sound. This has sparked opposition from homeowners and environmentalists, and has played a role in the nine year delay of the project. The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, stationed in Hyannis, Mass., said the turbines’ rotors could cause a catastrophic amount of kills in some of the six million birds that migrate through the region. Others have said that the fishermen working in the South Cape will be put out of business.
Also opposed to the project are leaders of the Wampanoag Indians, who have said that the turbine blades would destroy sunrise views that are essential for prayer ceremonies.
The late Senator Ted Kennedy also fought against this project’s development for many years. I am sure he had good reason, I mean, the turbines would be visible from the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport. Not a pretty site, I would imagine.
Many opposed to Cape Wind have concerns about the birds, aquatic life and the scenery of shore communities.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who approved the wind farm, stated that the wind turbines would need to be reconfigured to reduce the visual impact from land in order to go forward.
Salazar said, “I am convinced there is a path we can take forward that both honors our responsibility to protect the natural and cultural resources of Nantucket Sound, and at the same time meets the need to repower our economy with clean energy.”
While I agree that the world needs to come up with alternative ways of creating clean energy, I can’t help but worry about the effects this new project will have on the people, plants and animals surrounding the project area. These big turbines are going to be spinning around and unknowing birds are going to fly right into them! Also any fish or other living creatures will be forced to evacuate/killed during this building process.
I know, I know – this will help the environment overall and there is no perfect way to solve these issues, but building this turbine could lead to people feeling more comfortable building another and another, next thing you know your going on a walk with your sweetie pie to watch the sunrise between spinning turbines. How romantic!
According to the Interior Department, once the project is finished the wind farm may generate enough power for more than 200,000 average U.S. homes. That’s a lot of energy and a great way of creating energy for homes, but there are still a lot of potential consequences.
Are the positives in the new forms of clean energy greater than the negatives?