WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Today in meetings with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Native American tribal leaders, towns, land use planning agencies, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and others will propose a compromise that moves the project to an alternate site in close proximity to the disputed location and that respects the concerns of Native Americans and other stakeholders, and provides the developer with a strong, economically viable location for Cape Wind.
The alternate site -- which could hold an equivalent sized wind project at the location called South of Tuckernuck Island (STI) -- has been vetted and has demonstrated sufficient water depth and area to accommodate a project similar to that of Cape Wind, but with far fewer adverse impacts. In addition, with critical public support, South of Tuckernuck Island could be eligible for tax exempt public bonds that would help offset any marginal increases to construction costs at the new location. This site is better positioned for a final decision by the Secretary and can be shovel-ready in 2010 to qualify for necessary federal subsidies.
"We are very supportive of wind energy but urge Secretary Salazar and Interior officials to consider other viable alternatives outside of Nantucket Sound that respect tribal rights and preserve a treasured national resource," said Audra Parker, CEO and President of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. "The Obama Administration has the opportunity to help craft a compromise that protects the environment while respecting the rights and concerns of all involved. If Cape Wind is genuinely committed to renewable energy and respecting the local community, they will wholeheartedly embrace this consensus solution."
The South of Tuckernuck Island site would also preserve the livelihoods of commercial fisherman and those dependent on the Cape and Islands' strong tourism industry; avoid dangers to aviation, ferry and recreational boat traffic; protect endangered species; and minimize the environmental risk of a devastating oil leak from the project's proposed transformer substation.
The compromise presented today by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has been endorsed by a wide spectrum of stakeholders and interested parties including federally recognized Tribes, Senator Kirk, Congressman Delahunt, State Senator O'Leary, State Representatives Atsalis and Perry, Former State Representative Turkington, local towns, both regional ferry operators, marine trade organizations, all three Cape and Islands airports, commercial and recreational fishing organizations, Cape and Islands chambers of Commerce, and local environmental groups.
The private developer Cape Wind -- having been granted a no-bid no compete deal for 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound in the center of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket -- has been targeting Horseshoe Shoal in the center of the Sound despite strong community opposition. The proposed wind project -- approximately the size of Manhattan -- would contain 130 turbines towering 440 feet above the water line.
The meeting with Native American Tribes, historic agencies, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and other consulting parties is one of several meetings scheduled for today with the Department of the Interior. Interior officials also plan to meet separately with the Massachusetts Historic Commission which has supported Nantucket Sound's eligibility for the National Register as well as the Cape Wind developer and other federal agencies.
SOURCE Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound