Articles filed under General from Massachusetts
The Coast Guard revealed this week that it has contracted for a study of the effects on marine radar from the wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. At the end of a radar and navigation forum Tuesday in North Falmouth, Raymond Perry, captain of the port for Sector Southeastern New England, announced the study, Coast Guard Senior Chief Richard Uronis said yesterday. The $100,000 study should be completed by December, Uronis said. It will be performed by Maryland-based Technology Service Corp.
The developer of what was to have been three wind farms in Buzzards Bay before a site off Fairhaven was dropped in May said Monday a second site off Dartmouth may not pass muster because of a combination of factors, which would leave only a third site off the Elizabeth Islands for 40 to 60 wind turbines. C. Trevor Childs, project coordinator for the South Coast Offshore Wind Project of Patriot Renewables, said Monday the Dartmouth site - which has been opposed by many local residents and state legislators - is less certain than it was months ago because of environmental, social and economic factors.
In the ongoing debate on these pages regarding Cape Wind's proposal to install 130 towers in Nantucket Sound, facts often have taken a back seat to emotion. ...A key question is: How much will the project cost and what is the impact of the cost and the ongoing maintenance and security on the cost of power produced by the proposed Cape Wind turbines? ...The financial data are easily provided by the folks at Cape Wind. Instead, by withholding vital information about the project, Cape Wind has fostered an atmosphere of mistrust and encouraged circulation of misinformation by proponents and opponents alike. Let's have all the facts.
A South Coast Wind Power Collaborative meeting held in Marion this week brought everything from frustration to hope as several initiatives were discussed. Reports on Sodar wind speed testing done at Old Rochester Regional High School and Mattapoisett's landfill brought mixed results. Wind speeds at both locations did not prove sufficient to suggest a feasibility study, but they did bring a suggestion of further study from Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) representative Nils Bolgen.
The project, including the early research and the last stages of construction, will cost close to $1.7 million. The school had financial and other help from a variety of sources ...Spectators won't have to get too close to check it out: The turbine measures 262 feet to the tip of its tallest blade and is visible from Route 146, Interstate 290 and as far away as the second floor of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Gordon Library, according to WPI.
The manufacturer may change, but without major revisions to Cape Wind's plans for a Nantucket Sound wind-energy plant, further complications in the project's regulatory review are unlikely. General Electric - identified earlier as the prospective supplier of wind turbines - appears to have dropped the 3.6-megawatt model Cape Wind had hoped to use, said Rodney Cluck, Cape Wind project manager for U.S. Minerals Management Service. "However, other companies out there are" making similar models, he said.
A spokesman for developer Cape Wind Associates LLC said the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. should have no significant impact on the firm's proposed 130-turbine project for Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind originally hired Lehman Bros. to line up financing for the project in 2005. But Lehman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week after the collapse of its debt investments. A subsidiary of Barclays, the British banking conglomerate, acquired much of the Lehman business out of bankruptcy on Monday.
With the high cost of electricity and a shaky economy, convincing customers to voluntarily pay more than they have to is a challenge, according to energy company officials who attended an industry conference yesterday. The challenge is unlikely to get easier with energy costs expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, Cape Light Compact administrator Maggie Downey said outside the forum at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. "We are in a new business environment and the prices that we're dealing with are always going to be higher," she said.
The contract stipulates that Mr. Pitney apply for a Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) grant that would cover two-thirds of the $63,400 cost for the turbine and its installation. Mr. Pitney says the town must first issue a building permit for constructing a 10 kilowatt turbine at the site in the parking lot behind Town Hall and in front of the Highway Department buildings. Then he can apply for the grant, for which he says the paperwork has been nearly completed. A clerk at the building department says it has not yet received a building permit application from Mr. Pitney.
The owners of the $45 million Berkshire Wind Project say they hope to have the initiative's 10 wind turbines on Brodie Mountain completed in two years. Project manager Edward Kaczenski, speaking at a meeting near the mountain's peak, said the backers expect to complete the infrastructure work - including the turbine sites - next year. Plans call for the turbines to be installed in early 2010, depending on the lead time, which is expected to be two years, he said.
The Menino administration is turning red over efforts to go green as the bungled installation of a wind turbine on City Hall's roof is running up a bill for taxpayers - all to create enough electricity to power just 19 lightbulbs. Making matters worse: City officials may have inadvertently violated bidding laws in the scramble to get the little turbine engine spinning. ...The city had trouble securing the turbine to the roof, which is made of concrete reinforced with steel, Hunt said. The turbine also had to be on a hinge so city engineers could safely repair and maintain it.
Steve Pitney of Alternate Energy, the company chosen to build the turbine, said he is considering Westport-based Aerostar Wind Turbines or a West Coast company instead of Bergey, the Oklahoma-based manufacturer that received poor reviews in a recent local report. Pitney called Paul Gay, the owner of Aerostar, last week to tell him he was interested in using an Aerostar turbine, which Gay said is "vastly different" from a Bergey. Gay said he was interested in the project but that he had "no idea" if Aerostar might end up building the turbine.
Harvard is planning to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center and a parking garage, according to a media report. While the wind turbines are not expected to generate a significant amount of electricity for Harvard, they will function as "outward symbols of our commitment to renewable energy and sustainability here on campus," James Gray, associate vice president for Harvard real estate services told The New York Times. ..."It is important to realize that [the turbines] are symbolic, and are not an alternative to doing something more substantive," Schrag said.
If you ask the Sewer Commission how they feel about wind turbines, they would probably say, "great", but ask them how they relish the idea of placing such a structure hovering over the sewer plant and you will get a different answer. On August 27 the Commission wrote a four page letter to the Green Committee essentially tearing apart every aspect of the turbine, its placement and its financials. That correspondence outlines how the height of the turbine violates Kingston's own by-laws and places the sewer plant directly under its fall zone "rendering it inoperable for an indefinite period of time.
Consultants recently told the Nauset Regional School Committee that the district will be able to pay off a proposed $2.7 million wind turbine at the high school in less than three years. But others with knowledge in the field say that is way too optimistic. ...Nauset business manager Hans Baumhauer is skeptical. Without knowing the size of the turbine, the height, or cost, he said it is too early to speculate on profit. "I have grave concerns about that number," Baumhauer said of Michelman's estimate.
The new owners of the Berkshire Wind project on Brodie Mountain are on the brink of ordering 10 1.5 megawatt wind turbines for installation at some point during the coming two years. According to Ed Kaczenski, lead staff engineer for Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp., four requests for bids were sent out in early August to the only four manufacturers of the 1.5 megawatt turbines - GE, Fuhrlander, Suzlon and AEER. ...The Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp. borrowed $8 million from PeoplesBank of Holyoke to finance the purchase of the project and to begin the purchase process for the wind turbines.
The state's suspension of a rebate program for small wind turbine projects has led Mashpee Commons to rethink its proposal to mount two turbines to the roof of the Talbots' building in the middle of the commercial and residential development. Douglas S. Storrs, a vice president of both Mashpee Commons LP another related development firm, said this week that in light of the suspension the developers are now investigating using the two small turbines, purchased nearly a year ago, at other properties in Rhode Island.
Boston planners are rewriting the city's zoning code to allow wind turbines in certain areas. "We want to give predictability to the private sector, and lay clear ground rules for wind project development, while being sensitive to neighborhood concerns," said James Hunt, the city's environment and energy chief, about the proposed changes. As the demand for alternative energy sources surges, there has been increased interest in non-polluting, energy-generating wind turbines.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative owns two turbines and wants to get rid of them. CCI Energy, developer of the Fairhaven wind project, needs two turbines. It would seem to be a perfect match but, despite months of discussions between the two parties, it now appears unlikely that the turbines the collaborative is selling will be the turbines CCI buys.
FOR SALE: Two wind turbines, made by highly regarded manufacturer, top blade height of nearly 400 feet, each capable of generating power for about 1,000 homes. Some assembly required. Asking price: $5 million-plus, or best offer.