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New suit targets FAA in relation to 468-MW Cape Wind project

(SeeNews) - Mar 4, 2014 - As part of its battle against the 468-MW Cape Wind project, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound is now suing the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its refusal to hand over documents showing how wind turbines interfere with radars.

In a statement on Monday, the organisation said it had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency in June 2012. It has not received any documents for more than two years, even though agencies have to respond to such requests in 20 working days.

This is the latest legal battle initiated by the Alliance that is directly or indirectly attacking the Cape Wind project off Massachusetts. In January the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval for the 468-MW scheme. The agency has concluded that none of the offshore wind farm's up to 130 turbines would affect the use of air navigation facilities or navigable airspace. The FAA has issued several Determination of No Hazard (DNH).

“The FAA documents we uncovered previously paint a disturbing picture of serious safety concerns associated with Cape Wind that were overlooked due to political pressure,” the Alliance’s president Audra Parker said in its press release yesterday. The organisation is alleging that the FAA’s unwillingness to produce the requested documentation may be a sign that the agency is concealing something. It also claims that the FAA’s own technical experts and air traffic controllers have “expressed concerns about compromising airplane safety” as regards to the 130-turbine offshore wind farm proposal.

Last week, the 468-MW Cape Wind project secured a USD-600-million (EUR 436m) loan commitment from Danish Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF). The developers expects to reach financial close in the autumn of 2014 and start power generation in 2016.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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