Cape Wind Opponents: It Ain’t Over Until It Is Over

The Saint ReportEnergy, Environmental Planning, NIMBY, Planning and Zoning, Saint Consulting Links, saintblog, Wind PowerLeave a Comment

By Jay Vincent

Senior Vice President – Energy, The Saint Consulting Group

A while back I wrote about the never ending battle between Cape Wind opponents and the developer.  What that case taught me is that the fight is not over until it is over.  Recent developments truly prove this point.

Wind opponents have been able to continue to delay the project with lawsuits and steady regulatory interference.  Really, they have left no stone unturned.  Their efforts are not without success either.  Recently a court decision overturned the FAA clearance that was granted due to inadequate determination of safety for the 130 turbines which each stand 440 feet tall.  The Town of Barnstable and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound both sued claiming that the FAA did not properly follow the guidelines for its determination of “no hazard” regarding air navigation near the project. The court agreed.

While the developer seems unconcerned about the ruling claiming in public reports that this decision will not affect the project’s schedule, project opponents are calling it a major victory. What is most interesting about the opponent’s view though is their desire to kill this project through delaying its access to financing.  More delay and regulatory review means a more vulnerable project.  This case is surely an example of that.

Jay Vincent is senior vice president for energy for The Saint Consulting Group, email or phone 312.212.8889

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