Hanscom Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Meeting


The Cape Wind Energy Project: Final Stages

Mark Rodgers, Communications Director, Cape Wind


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Auditorium

Refreshments: 3:30 PM, Talk 4 - 5 PM Joint Meeting with the IEEE Life


           Cape Wind is in the final stages of planning and approvals for the development of a large-scale wind farm in the middle of Nantucket Sound, on a shallow area called Horseshoe Shoal. If the project goes ahead as planned, the wind farm would be composed of approximately 130 wind turbines, having a hub height of 247 feet and a maximum tip height of 440 feet.  Each turbine would be able to produce 3.6 megawatts, for a maximum rated output for the wind farm of 468 megawatts. As production clearly depends on wind conditions, the expected average output stands at 170 megawatts, which is approximately 75% of the average electricity demand for Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

         Along with presenting the facts of the project Mr. Rodgers will discuss some of the challenges that arose in getting this proposal implemented. The Nantucket Sound is a haven for yachtsmen and fishermen and the wind farm is a concern for those who use or rely on this stretch of the sound. Mr. Rodgers has made the case that the Cape Wind proposal would have very little impact on those concerned: sailing and fishing is possible around the turbines as at their lowest point the blades are still some 75 feet above the water surface. Mr. Rodgers will describe how a 30-foot sailboat sailing in and around an existing wind farm in Holland did not experience any apparent danger.  More information on the project can be found at www.capewind.org.


        Mark Rodgers earned a BA. in Political Science at The George Washington University in 1989 He is currently the Communications Director of Cape Wind.   Mark develops Cape Wind’s communications content, he manages news media and community relations, and he has given over 200 project presentations to a variety of stakeholder groups since he came on board in January, 2002.   Prior to that, Mark was a Founder and Director of HealthLink, a North Shore based citizens-action organization that works to reduce local sources of pollution.  


       The meeting will be held at the Lincoln Lab Auditorium at 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served at 3:30 PM.  Registration is in the main lobby.  Foreign national visitors to Lincoln Lab require visit requests. Please pre-register by e-mail to reception@ll.mit.edu and indicate your citizenship.  Please use the Wood Street Gate.  For directions go to http://www.ll.mit.edu/.


 For other information, contact Ed Altshuler, Chairman, at (781) 377-4662, or edward.altshuler@hanscom.af.mil