Keywords: wind power, renewable energy, offshore wind farms, visual pollution, public participation, environmental friendly electric power, wind energy, wind turbines, USA, United States, barriers, objections, NIMBY
Renewable energy production issues with the Cape Cod offshore wind energy programme
This paper evaluates the first offshore wind farm proposal in the USA. It is being put forward by Cape Wind Associates, a Boston-based firm that wishes to build 170 turbines five miles offshore in Nantucket Sound. The proposed development would supply up to 95% Cape Cod's energy needs and 2% of the energy requirements for the eastern New England region, preventing the need for additional fossil fuel power plants that would pollute the environment and harm the health of New Englanders. The eco-friendly state of Massachusetts has produced much opposition to this project. Criticism of this project ranges from anticipated bird kills by the turbines to concerns about the criteria and considerations that will be used in the permit process. However, the most important issue appears to be that of visual pollution to the residents of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. This paper examines this unique form of pollution and how reactionary not-in-my-backyard concerns can shape the debate.