Decision Made on Cape Wind Project

By Brianna Bigelow 3-20-14

Credit: Flickr user m.prinke
Credit: Flickr user m.prinke

The U.S. District Court has issued a mixed ruling in the case of Cape Wind, a developing wind farm off the shores of Nantucket.

A federal judge has dismissed several arguments raised by opposers to the project, allowing construction plans to continue. However, Cape Wind has been ordered to revisit claims that the project poses environmental risks to the area.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an environmental group from Nantucket, has opposed the development of Cape Wind since it was first proposed in 2001. The group claims that this new wind farm will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the area’s migratory birds and right whale populations.

According to The Alliance’s official protests against the project, during foul weather the area’s birds “fly at altitudes at the same height as the height of the rotors, creating the potential for an episodic catastrophic kill of migrating birds.”

The Sound also hosts the migration of right whales each year––these whales are among the most endangered in the world. Environmental groups have voiced their concerns about an offshore power plant disrupting and endangering this fragile species.

In a press release, Audra Parker, President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, claims that this ruling “has validated that federal agencies have taken unacceptable shortcuts in their review of Cape Wind.”

However, Mark Rodgers, the Communications Director for Cape Wind, claims that the court’s backing of the project is a huge win for them. “This court decision is a major victory for Cape Wind and provides us with the momentum we need to complete project financing later this year and then to begin construction.”

With construction set to begin next year, Cape Wind had just a few months to review its plans, in order to guarantee the protection of the area’s environment.