Installation of Cape Wind Research Tower Halted by Judge

A Barnstable Superior Court Judge has issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Cape Wind Associates in response to a taxpayers’ suit alleging the Army Corps violated Massachusetts state law when it granted Cape Wind a permit to install a 200 foot data tower in Nantucket Sound.

Hyannis, Massachusetts – September 27, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The research tower was to be installed in preparation for constructing the largest offshore wind farm in the world. If permitted, the Nantucket Sound wind farm would be the first of its kind in the United States. Cape Wind Associates received approval in August to install the scientific monitoring station on Horseshoe Shoal, the site of its planned wind park off Cape Cod. The structure will gather scientific data to be used in evaluating and designing the nation’s first offshore wind park as well as other scientific uses. The 197-foot structure, estimated to cost Cape Wind Associates US$2 million to erect and operate, will be located approximately 11 miles off Cape Cod. Operations are expected to begin this fall and continue for up to five years. The complaint, brought by a Citizens Taxpayer Group and several fishing and boating concerns, charges that the U.S. Army Corps unlawfully and arbitrarily issued Cape Wind Associates a permit to construct a data tower in the middle of Nantucket Sound in violation of their own regulations and in violation of environmental law. The complaint also argues that while the test tower and project site lie outside of the three-mile state coastal zone, the state enjoys jurisdiction within Nantucket Sound to protect the fisheries and the environment through its state environmental agencies. The suit also argues that Cape Wind had other means with which to gather weather data that did not require installation of a 200- foot tower into the seabed in Nantucket Sound. The proposed Cape Wind project includes 170 high-tech wind turbines spaced between one-half and one-third mile apart on Horseshoe Shoal, more than five miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod. Studies show that the area has some of the strongest, most consistent wind in the eastern U.S. At peak output, the project would generate more than 400 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of Cape Cod and the Islands.
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