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Cape Cod: Twisting in the Wind?

Wind developers face a backlash from citizens.
Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 2002

the people there supporting us.

Fortnightly: If Horseshoe Shoal doesn't work out as the site for this massive project, do you have a secondary site picked out?

JG: We have done alternate site analyses. However, Horseshoe Shoal is a superior site, for many different reasons. It's a shallow, protected environment and it's in close proximity to a growing load center. I can honestly say that I believe Horseshoe Shoal is the best offshore wind site on the entire East Coast.

Fortnightly: With the downfall of Enron, have you had any second thoughts about this project? Have you approached it anymore cautiously?

JG: Not really. In a way, it goes to having your energy supply come from a local, experienced company. Enron was in Texas juggling all kinds of things. Why send money elsewhere when you can have renewable energy coming from a local company-where you can see it, touch it, taste it. With this project, there are no mirages.

Fortnightly: Is the opposition, in your mind, just another case of NIMBYism?

JG: From the beginning, we've been prepared to answer all questions about this project. I can honestly say that we believe there will be no adverse affect on Horseshoe Shoal because of the Cape Wind project. For those that will peer out from land and see these tiny turbines on the horizon, if that's the reason they oppose it, then I can't help them.

Every energy project has some environmental impact. This project has the fewest impacts.

[As far as the NIMBY argument] you can't go to a cocktail party and speak glowingly of renewable energy and at the same time, be against it because you'll be able to see it in action. If that's your argument, then yes, I think it's NIMBYism. However, I believe those folks are in the minority. Wind turbines inspire a lot of people. I believe this project is a testament of our commitment to work with the environment rather than against it.

Fortnightly: Final thoughts?

JG: By itself, the Cape Wind project will not solve all of our energy problems. We are not na‹ve about that fact. But, it will contribute significantly to positively addressing the issue. Most importantly, though, I think this project could be a national example that might inspire people to look much more closely at the positives of renewable energy. At least I hope it has that affect.


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