The March 2014 District Court ruling for Cape Wind, included claims that the project would be in violation of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. This piece briefly explains the plaintiffs claim, as well as the legal reasoning provided by the court in finding for the defendant on each of these claims.
Government Policy & Regulation
Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, MA, provides remarks on Massachusetts House Number 3968, a bill requiring energy distribution companies to buy no less than 18,900,000 MWH from clean energy generators. Mitchell argues that the bill should have a carveout for offshore wind generators.
The Patrick-Murray Administration announced EPA approval of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. This approval allows the project to accept bids from prospective developers. The project is a $100 million facility designed for marine traffic related to offshore wind turbine installation.
The New England Clean Energy Council released this report identifying the barriers to offshore wind development in New England and provided policy recommendations for overcoming those barriers. The report concludes that a regionally coordinated procurement mechanism is essential to taking advantage of the wind resources available.
Cape Wind gives a brief overview of the litigation that the project has been involved in since 2003. Of the 32 cases filed against Cape Wind, 26 ruled in favor of Cape Wind, 5 were withdrawn, and the one ruling against was temporary.
During a hearing on House of Representatives hearing on Cape Wind, Audra Parker, representing the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, provides this testimony arguing against the Cape Wind project. She argues that there will be adverse economic impacts, public safety risks, impacts on tribal lands, and adverse environmental effects.
House Bill 1312 is an act to establish a committee to explore the potential for offshore wind power in New Hampshire. The committee is made up of three members of the House of Representatives, and three members of the State Senate. A final report is due on November 1, 2014.
The Commisioner of NHDES provides background information on offshore wind to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is considering HB 1312, legislation to establish a to develop a report on offshore wind energy development. The Commissioner's letter describes the current state of offshore wind activities in New Hampshire. It focuses on permitting, siting, and technology available and refers to advancements made in Maine as an example for potential projects in New Hampshire.
Jeff Thaler of the University of Maine produced this roadmap on behalf of the Maine Composites Alliance, the Maine Wind Industry Initiative, and the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine. The entire permitting process for an offshore wind project in Maine is laid out, step-by-step. The roadmap includes all the relevent state level regulations, as well as the necessary federal level requirements.
Jake Ward, Vice President of Innovation at the University of Maine produced a presentation about the Aqua Ventus Project. Because the Department of Energy gave the University only alternate status for a $47 million federal grant, Ward presents a path forward showing how to complete the pilot project without federal funding. The project is moving forward but at a smaller scale.