Nantucket Sound wind farm could be doomed by Don Young amendment

There’s plenty of local opposition to the controversial Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, but the final blow (ha!) may come from an Alaskan. After the House and Senate passed versions of a Coast Guard budget bill, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced an amendment to extend the distance between offshore wind turbines and ship navigation paths to 1.5 nautical miles. He then circulated a letter soliciting support from colleagues, claiming that turbine blades can mess with shipboard radar and specifically calling out the Cape Wind project. If the bill passes with Young’s amendment, so much of Nantucket Sound would be off-limits to turbines that the 130-windmill project would be effectively doomed. Cape Wind honchos point to a 2003 study conducted for the Army Corps of Engineers that determined the wind farm would pose no threat to navigational systems. A decision on Young’s amendment could be made behind closed doors as early as today.

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