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R.I.P., Cape Wind ( 228

schwit1 quotes the Boston Globe: What a long, slow death it has been for Massachusetts's first proposed offshore wind farm. But now, its proponents are finally pulling the plug. While others in the energy industry considered the Cape Wind project dead, developer Jim Gordon didn't quit after losing power contracts he needed for financing in early 2015, or after state regulators yanked permission for a power line connection last year.

Another big blow came later in 2016 when Cape Wind foes worked their magic on Beacon Hill. They successfully lobbied lawmakers to prevent Cape Wind from benefitting from a major energy bill, one that requires utilities to buy large amounts of offshore wind. This was exactly the kind of legislation Gordon needed. But he wasn't being allowed at the party...

We're embarking on a new era. Wind turbines are on their way for deeper waters, south of Martha's Vineyard. They won't be Gordon's. But at least he can take some credit, in his defeat, for being a pioneer.

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R.I.P., Cape Wind

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2017 @01:30PM (#55668329)

    Fine. Let's give them a coal-fired plant as an alternative.

    • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @01:57PM (#55668425) Homepage Journal

      Let's give them a coal-fired plant as an alternative.

      The problem is, you're giving the people the coal fired plant, when it was the politicians that screwed the people in the first place.

      It's heartbreaking to watch the deep corruption in politics hold society back while doing direct harm to the citizens with their "wars" on informed personal and consensual choice and their blatant corporate fluffing.

      But as long as the voters remain largely poorly educated and gullible, it's going to continue to be corrupt politicians all the way down. Sadly, the people are unable to make the connection between their voting habits and their problems. Not unwilling; unable.

      And guess who controls the people's education?


      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @04:11PM (#55668893)

        it was the politicians that screwed the people in the first place.

        Bullcrap. The project was deeply unpopular with the people in the area, and the politicians were reflecting their will.

        But as long as the voters remain largely poorly educated and gullible ...

        MV has some of the best schools in the nation. They are controlled by locally elected school boards, not some vast right-wing conspiracy to kill wind power and sell more coal.

        Sadly, the people are unable to make the connection between their voting habits and their problems.

        The problem was windmills that were perceived as an eyesore. They agitated and voted to ban them. They got exactly what they voted for: No windmills in view from the coastline.

        • So, the short version is: "We're all for clean energy and stopping global warming... as long as it doesn't obstruct our view of the ocean."

        • by hashish ( 62254 )

          Why are you calling them windmills? Do you have an aversion to the terms wind turbine or wind generator?

        • by axehind ( 518047 )

          MV has some of the best schools in the nation.

          From my research they are not even near the top in the state! Where's your proof? school digger, us news... none of them show them being the top.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2017 @01:32PM (#55668335)

    ...that Jim Gordon was a wind power pioneer in addition to being the commissioner of the Gotham PD

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2017 @01:35PM (#55668349)

    The summary ignores the fact that the anti-wind forces were the super wealthy Dems in Martha's Vineyard who didn't want their views altered.

    They're all in favor of renewables as long as someone else (you) has to deal with the negatives while they get all the benefits.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Weak troll, comrade.
    • by KingRatMass ( 1448233 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @06:41AM (#55671283)
      Not true, it was the ultra wealthy of Falmouth, Mashpee, Osterville and Hyannis. But the real driving force behind anti offshore wind was the cranberry growers. They are the one group that stands to gain the most by keeping wind onshore, since they own a vast majority of the land that is ideal for onshore wind from Route 24 to mid-Cape.

      Wind Turbines are an ideal match for bog lands. They have a small terrestrial footprint and they do not impede sunlight. Some growers have experimented with leasing underproducing lands for solar but that has a few pitfalls. It's only profitable when the price of electricity produced per acre exceed the price of cranberries that could be produced by that same acre. For every acre of solar, they lose an acre of bog. This does not present itself as a problem with wind. Almost all the land except the turbines foot print can be actively cultivated. For the turbine owner, it's a perfect match as well. They have a lot less work for site development. Since your talking about agricultural land that has already been cleared so effectively that nothing grows higher than six inches above the mean soil line. The access and infrastructure needed to facilitate construction is already in place by virtue of the growers having already created and maintained to facilitate cranberry cultivation. The town governments aren't complaining, since the turbines increase the land value, thus raising the property taxes and increasing town revenue.

      From a local standpoint, Cape Wind didn't benefit the local economy. If there were any generalized negatives, they've apparently been overlooked by towns like Bourne, Wareham, Middleboro and Plymouth. Wind development does not seem to be slowing in these towns.

  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @01:54PM (#55668423) Homepage Journal

    I think wind turbines are beautiful machines.Highly engineered and efficient devices that (mostly) silently turn 24/7 generating power and displacing carbon producing sources contributing to human flourishing. They are a statement that says intelligent creatures live here.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      As with all technology they are both beautiful and a bit scary. They aren't entirely silent and can be a bit dangerous too, but it doesn't make them stand out from other technology.

      Sometimes their presence is similar to art by Simon Stålenhag [].

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They look great off-shore, although now deep water ones are price competitive we probably won't be able to see many of the new farms from land.

    • In small numbers, and way over there, they're lovely. Drive the 25+ mile stretch of I-70 in Kansas that runs the length of the Smoky Hills wind farm. Nasty industrial vibe, sort of like the stretch of the NJ Turnpike south from Newark Airport.
      • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @03:26PM (#55668741)
        I'd much rather look at windmills than have to look at a 25+ mile stretch of I-70 in Kansas. I don't know why whether we, as a society, use windmills is determined by some subjective ideas about their appearance.
        • by Ocker3 ( 1232550 )
          One of our Australian politicians complained about the 'unsightly' windmills in farms as he drove along a major highway. He didn't mention the concrete barriers that blocked his view of a major coal mine as he drove along the same road. Perhaps I've been watching too many Miyazaki films, but I quite like seeing windmills, of all kinds.
    • They are but ... That doesn't mean humans need to put a mark on everything they touch. Now that said, Cape Wind, fantastic location for it. Big wind farms typically are, as are they on farming land, on the side of some highways, in the middle of the oil refineries and other industrial areas.

      What I can't stand is hiking through the wilderness, climbing a mountain to it's highest peak all to see like 3 crappy little wind turbines littered on every peak. Go big, or go home :-)

    • There are a bunch of turbines near I-90 east of Ellensburg, Washington. We see them whenever we go visit my wife’s family. While I wouldn’t want the entire world covered in them, I find their design to be aesthetically pleasing, all things considered. It wouldn’t bother me t have such an installation visible from my house.

      I remember, one winter day, stopping at a rest area from which you can see a large set of these turbines. There was snow on the ground, and a low fog blanketing the area.

    • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

      I think wind turbines are beautiful machines.Highly engineered and efficient devices that (mostly) silently turn 24/7 generating power and displacing carbon producing sources contributing to human flourishing. They are a statement that says intelligent creatures live here.

      Funny. That's how I feel about nuclear power!

  • Someone who finds a new way to make money and gets to watch others do just that.
  • It gets better (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @02:19PM (#55668495)
    The reoccurring cause is the whole NIMBY, because the rich didn't want their view ruined. You all do understand this isn't the view from shore they are complaining about being ruined. In nearly all the cases the wind turbines wouldn't be visible from land.

    The view they are talking about being ruined is the view from their fishing boats, sail boats, and yachts 20 miles off shore.

    I regularly poo poo on all things tree huggerish, but as an engineer I love wind turbines. There is enough potential wind power just off shore in the US to install 4 times the current power requirements.

    Throw in Geo, Solar, and a bunch of base loading produced by coal/natural gas, nuclear, and if Elon can get them to work battery's, and basically we have enough power capacity to fulfill demand for the next several hundred years for all sectors of the economy including transportation, without ever having to import another drop of oil from overseas again.
    • Re:It gets better (Score:4, Informative)

      by MichaelJ ( 140077 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @03:09PM (#55668685)

      You're just plain wrong. The closest turbines would have been only four miles off the shore of the Cape. Colby did a visibility study https://digitalcommons.colby.e... [] and found that “41.25% of residential areas will be able to see 90% of at least one tower.”

      • We can’t have the rich folks’ view obstructed. The loss of property value might compel them to let a servant or two go, leading to a spike in unemployment.

        • If rich people want to pay extra for a view, who am I to stop them. With other forms of power, locating the infrastructure near poor people was really awful. Nobody should have to live near a coal plant. There are always going to be differences between rich and poor. If we had universal basic income, universal healthcare, but the poor people had to live near windmills, well I think we would be just fine.
  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @02:42PM (#55668581)

    So, the only way this would really work is if everyone were required by law to use the product of this company?

    Hey, I bet I could make a lot of money making baseball base markers, if everyone in the country were required by law to buy three of them every year!

    Slightly more seriously, I don't consider something a good investment if it requires a law making everyone an involuntary customer...

    • How about if it was something that the customers needed anyway, and the choice was between a product with most of its costs up-front, and a cheaper-looking but dirtier product that cost consumers and society a lot more in the longer term? Obviously the first is a better investment overall, but the second would still look attractive to many, unless a way was found to make the greater costs more obvious.

      I'm not a fan of heavy-handed legislation either, but when the current alternative is a product that is pop

      • by Ocker3 ( 1232550 )
        Internalising the externalities *cough* *splutter* Including the true costs *happy sigh* I like being specific about things, but I Hate using confusing terminology, of course my day job in desktop support means that tailoring my use of terminology to the client's understanding is vital.
  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @03:06PM (#55668669) Homepage

    You know, the rich Democrats who had this project shot down repeatedly really care about global warming. I mean, you wouldn't want these ugly towers to ruin their views while they're on their yacht or flying their private plane. It's understandable.

  • I wonder if the corruption was ever this Massachusetts, one of the most favorable political climates for a project like this, money wins out. I know political corruption has existed forever, but it seems like you can't get anything done unless you have enough money to pay for a lobbyist. If everything normal people want grinds to a halt, they're eventually going to get fed up.

    The thing that sucks is that most good people avoid politics because they see what a dirty business it is. Even in the large

    • I wonder if the corruption was ever this bad

      Take a look at the career of Chester Arthur. He gained the lucrative post of Collector of the Port of New York in 1871, as part of the political spoils system. Then in 1883, as president, he helped curtail the spoils system by signing the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. I don't think anybody (apart from the beneficiaries) would be very happy with the level of corruption in the 1870s.

  • Executive: Pack up. We're leaving. We only have a thousand dollars anyway.
    Mayor Quimby: There's a thousand dollar leaving-town tax!

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