Thursday April 9, 2015
Better Future Project is coordinating a campaign to save Cape Wind . They saw an opening between a utility president's stated support for renewable energy, and her company's backing out of a contract to buy power from the future offshore wind farm. It quickly became clear when their petition attracted more than 100,000 signatures that there is significant public sentiment to get moving on the transition to renewable energy. Cape Wind — a 468-MW wind farm with 130 turbines proposed for Nantucket Sound — is a vital first step.
But we are way behind. According to Wikipedia "there are no offshore wind farms in the United States". Europe is way ahead, with the European Wind Energy Association reporting 2,488 turbines in 74 wind farms, representing 8 Megawatts capacity; 12 more sites are under construction and will boost their wind power capacity by 37%.
Significant infrastructure has been put in place in anticipation of a new, clean energy industry in our region:
the Marine Commerce Terminal in New Bedford, under development and designed to include construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind facilities
the Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, to test turbine blades and grow domestic expertise in the wind power industry
These first-in-the-nation facilities are more indicators that we are ready to get going with wind energy, which is the largest potential clean energy source for Massachusetts.
The campaign to save Cape Wind is pushing for utilities to step up and accept a leadership role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Come to the Boston Area Solar Energy Association's April 9th Forum to discuss this with Craig Altemose, from Better Future Project.
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Boston Area Solar Energy Association members and many others took our case to Beacon Hill for Stand Up for Solar on April 7th! More than 120 people turned out to the State House to urge their legislators to raise the net metering cap and establish a long-term vision and policy framework for solar in Massachusetts. We met or did visits with 39 senators' offices and 99 representatives' offices. Come hear what we heard and share your stories; it was a good beginning for the work ahead.