Wind farms continue to inspire considerable opposition from neighbors and bird lovers. None more so than the proposal by Boston-based Cape Wind to erect 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound in what would be the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. Ted Kennedy, senior senator from Massachusetts, has led the charge against the proposal, claiming this industrial intrusion would mar the view from his family’s seaside compound and, by extension, harm Cape Cod’s leading industry: tourism.
To form your own view of Cape Wind’s visual impact, check out the computer-generated graphics prepared by the developer to simulate the wind farm’s appearance from the surrounding shores 5-13 miles away.
Now, into these contested seas sails a new developer with a proposal designed to please all: Blue H Technologies, which has staked out a parcel of seabed for a wind farm 23-miles off Nantucket, well beyond the sight of sling-sipping vacationers. And the technological solution enabling Blue H to site a wind farm in water 167 feet deep? Floating wind turbines.
Blue H’s proposal struck some partisans of the Cape Wind debate as a fraud. See this rant from Cape Cod Today, for example, suggesting the Blue H is an underhanded scheme by Ted Kennedy and other politicos to protect their waterfront viewscapes.
However, as my report headlining MIT TechReview.com today shows, Blue H is for real. The Dutch firm is well on the way to demonstrating a novel application for conventional oil and gas platform technology, and it has competitors just as intent on proving the economic and energy potential of deepwater wind.