The Massachusetts Office of Energy Resources has identified offshore wind power as a potentially desirable renewable energy resource for the state. Massachusetts, as well as most of the northeastern US, is mostly reliant on fossil fuels for power. Air pollution is also considerable.
Even so, the plan will most likely face serious opposition. The region is renowned for its coastline, for sailing and for whales. Brian Braginton-Smith, the entrepreneur who has been trying to get the project afloat for a decade, concedes there are hurdles to overcome in getting planning permission. Concerns from fishermen, coastal property owners, and the tourist industry could well lead to local opposition that could prove extremely tricky.
Braginton-Smith has met with state and federal officials, members of the White House, private potential partners, and with researchers at the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Laboratory and at the University's Urban Harbours Institute. Over the years he has tried unsuccessfully to get several projects off the ground in the area, but they have faced local opposition. "We have been filleted, sautéed, diced and scrambled sunny side up," says Braginton-Smith. "It's the NIMBY phenomenon."