Cape Windmills: Good or Bad?
It seems to be difficult for the world to understand that it must change its ways in order to remain the same. As an example of this, many have tried to change things including energy sources. Cape Wind, a company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA decided that it was going to increase the amount of power produced by the wind. It planned to build America’s first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. This project would construct approximately 130 wind turbines which would supply 75% of the power needed for Cape Cod. At the closest point, the turbines would be 5.2 miles from shore and just be a speck on the horizon. Each turbine would be 448 feet at the tallest point and be secured to the seabed by poles stuck 80 feet into the ocean floor.
This should be a good thing that everyone loves, right? Denmark, Ireland and Holland already have ocean based wind farms. Cape Cod wants to move forward and have more renewable energy. This wind farm would use no fossil fuels and emit no harmful gasses into the atmosphere. There would not be any problems with this plan you would think; but there are. Controversy has surrounded this issue where there should have been none.
Some of the issues are reasonable considerations, such as wildlife safety, impact on fishing, and the safety of aircraft flying at night. Many argue that native wildlife will be in great danger when flying near the wind farm. Others rebut this opinion stating that numerous studies have found that birds often fly around the farms and collisions are minimal. Those opposing the new wind farm also say that the construction and over all project will greatly decrease the fish population living in the Nantucket Sound and the fishing industry would be affected. However the wind farm supporters say that the fish population and fishing will not be greatly affected during the length of the Cape Cod wind project. Lastly, there are those who say that the wind farm would prove to be a great risk to aircraft flying at night or in bad weather. Since the windmills would be forty-three stories high a plane might not see them. Those in favor of the wind farm say that there would be plenty of flashing lights warning planes away from the tall windmills and planes even the small ones, do not fly 500 feet off the ground, unless they are landing or taking off.
There are many other issues that relate to the Cape Cod wind project; these are but a few. Perhaps the people who raise these objections have another agenda? Some have suggested that this is a case of NIMBY. (Not In My Back Yard.) This means that they like the idea, but they don’t want the project near them. Many other projects like this are beginning and will continue to be proposed. We suggest that an attitude of cooperation and concern for the general public welfare be adopted to look for solutions various concerns that people have regarding such projects.
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"America’s First Offshore Wind Farm on Nantucket Sound." Cape Wind: Energy For Life. Cape Wind. Accessed 24 February 2008. <http://www.capewind.org/FAQ-Category8-Cape+Wind+and+the+Environment-Parent0-myfaq-yes.htm>.
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