Cape Wind Farm's Future on Desk in Dublin?

Will Irish Sea offshore wind farm plan serve as model for disputed Cape Wind Farm off Cape Cod, Massachusetts?

Published: 25-Jan-2004

DUBLIN, IRELAND ­The crystal ball foretelling a possible future for wind energy on Cape Cod sits on a table in a government ministry in this city. Its several volumes constitute the Environmental Impact Statement for Ireland's first offshore wind farm, and the world's largest to win approval, the 200-turbine Arklow Bank Offshore Wind Park.

Back in the U.S, the Army Corps of Engineers and developer Cape Wind continue to prepare the Environmental Impact Report for that company's 130-turbine project planned for Nantucket Sound, and opposition, including lawsuits, is powerful. Here, a demonstration wind farm of seven towers and turbines with blades reaching 406 feet above the Irish Sea is already in place seven miles east of the historic fishing and boat-building port of Arklow.

The man with the EIS plan in his office ­which appears to have been decorated by a wind turbine ­is the breezy Tom Burke. He's assistant principal of the Coastal Zone Management division of Ireland's Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

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