general nav links About
Federal, State, & Tribal Programs
Training & Education
skip specific nav
Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Spring 2005 Massachusetts: Construction of a Wind Farm, Nantucket Sound
Massachusetts: Construction of a Wind Farm, Nantucket Sound
Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing a permit application from Cape Wind Associates to construct a wind farm in Nantucket Sound, in the triangle of water surrounded by Nantucket Island, Marthas Vineyard, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The wind farm would be comprised of 130 windmills, anchored to the sea bed and each with a height of 417 feet. The windmills would be visible from much of the southern Massachusetts coastline.
The applicant chose Nantucket Sound as the site of the wind farm because of its consistent winds, shallow water depths, proximity to power grids, and distance from commercial shipping lanes and flight paths.
Under the Section 106 review process, the Corps and the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) determined that the wind farm would have an adverse visual effect on numerous historic districts and individual historic properties, including houses, lighthouses, former President Kennedys family home, and several National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) including the Nantucket Historic District.
As part of the review process, the Corps initiated consultation on the proposed project with the SHPO, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, and various local governments. Because the Corps determined that NHLs would be adversely affected, it also invited the Secretary of the Interior to participate in Section 106 consultation. Several other organizations, including the Save Our Sound Alliance, the Wianno Club, and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, have offered comments or asked to be consulting parties to the proposed project.
In February 2005, the Corps notified the ACHP of its finding of adverse effect. That next month, the ACHP conveyed to the Secretary of the Army its intention to be involved in consultation on the proposed wind farm.
This case is expected to generate much controversy
since the need for new energy sources must be balanced with the detrimental effects
Staff contact: Tom McCulloch
Return to Top