Tidal-energy project could come to Nantucket Sound

Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod in Massachusetts are awash in alt-energy proposals: in addition to two offshore wind projects (with which loyal Grist readers are all too familiar), a third developer is now considering a tidal-energy project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Seven other sites across the U.S. are also being considered for the project, which would use underwater propellers to harness energy from ocean currents. Charles B. Cooper of the tidal project’s consulting company, clearly having learned a lesson from the wind-farm bickering, stated that the project would consider “aesthetic impact” and would “allow all other uses [of the sound] and not preempt any of them.” As with the wind farms, residents have raised concern about for-profit developers seizing public space. New England is in dire need of new energy sources: the region’s power-grid operator has warned of the possibility of rolling blackouts as soon as mid-2008.