- Image via Wikipedia
Controversy is swirling around Cape Cod about the desire of Cape Cod Community College to install a 400' high wind turbine on its West Barnstable campus. The Barnstable Old King's Highway Regional Historic District Committee, the historic governing body in that part of the Cape, was not asked by the College to review the plan. The District believes it is a violation of The Historic Act to skip that step. The Historic Act, passed in 1973, requires review of any proposed structure located in the historic district area north of the mid-Cape highway from Sandwich to Orleans. Additionally, the desire of organizations to "get around" the Historic Committee for the purposes of allowing Alternative Energy installations is troubling because it is the same Historic Act whch many people applaud for keeping the Cape looking like THE CAPE.
Now to the matter at hand. Wind energy is not new to the Cape. Wind mills were part of our landscape since the late 1600's. They generated the power to pump water all over the Cape and graced the scenery with unique architectural structures that stood approximately 12 feet high. Now the desire for alternative energy is creating interest in turning wind energy into electricity. A great idea in search of a better solution than a 400' propeller. Wind energy can be a viable alternative to reduce our dependency on oil. However, the smaller wind turbines are a much more appropriate solution and could be built in areas not visible to the public. Modern wind turbines are not historic looking but they do have a place in the Cape's landscape - provided they can't be seen.