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Event looks at ideas for wind power

The controversial topic of harnessing energy from wind in Nantucket Sound to create electricity, as well as a global perspective on wind power and other alternative energies, will be examined in a program on Friday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. in Room 34-101.

The presentation, part of MIT's recognition of America Recycles Day, will feature speakers from MIT and industry. Craig Olmsted, vice president for project development for Cape Wind Associates, will speak on "Farming the Wind Off Cape Cod: Technologies and Environmental Benefits." He will address the challenges and opportunities associated with an offshore wind park his company proposes for Horseshoe Shoal, five miles off Cape Cod.

Stephen Connors, director of the Analysis Group for Regional Electricity Alternatives in MIT's Laboratory For Energy and the Environment (LFEE), will discuss "Alternative Energies in a Global Perspective." He will focus on the information requirements for using renewable energy sources and energy conservation effectively as sectors develop and become more market-oriented.

Cape Wind Associates hopes to build a wind farm with 170 turbines that would be a pollution-free alternative to current methods of producing electricity. However, local residents say the proposed project will destroy the beauty of Horseshoe Shoal. Other opponents are concerned about possible environmental damage to marine life and migratory birds. The attorney general of Massachusetts also is questioning the appropriateness of giving away a public resource - the wind - to a private developer.

Sponsors of the event, which is open to the MIT community, are the Environmental Programs Office, the LFEE, the Environmental Programs Task Force (EPTF) and the Working Group on Support Staff Issues. That group's recycling committee will have an information booth in Lobby 10 on America Recycles Day, as will the student group SAVE (Share a Vital Earth) and the EPTF.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 6, 2002.

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