Tribals and wealthy residents against Cape Wind Farm, Massachusetts, USA

A wind farm in Nantucket Sound is delayed for years because of opposition by the wealthy and by the Wampanoag tribe in alliance with birders, boaters, fishermen and beachcombers, arguing that turbines would disturb biological and cultural heritage.


 Since 2001 the Cape Wind Project was proposed by a private developer (Cape Wind Associates) with strong support from the Massachusetts government. The project is the first planned offshore wind farm in the US, encompassing 130 Siemens turbines (3.6 MW each) covering 24 square miles in the waters of Nantucket Sound.

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Basic Data
NameTribals and wealthy residents against Cape Wind Farm, Massachusetts, USA
CountryUnited States of America
SiteBarnstable County
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Windmills
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project Details130 Siemens turbines (3.6 MW each) covering 24 square miles in the waters of Nantucket Sound.
Project Area (in hectares)6,216
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date01/01/2001
Company Names or State EnterprisesCape Wind Associates from United States of America - Developer
Relevant government actorsMassachusetts Government

Secretary of the Interior

Congress and Presidency
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAlliance to Protect the Nantucket Sound

Barnstable Land Trust

Humane Society of the United States

International Marine Mammal Project

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA)

Oceans Public Trust Initiative of Earth Island Institute,

Orenda Wildlife Trust,

Pegasus Foundation

Three Bays Preservation

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherEffects on bird life
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Under negotiation
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesEnergy efficeny

Nature conservation

Culture conservation

Alternative technologies
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.There are many interests at stake.
Sources and Materials

Mary Jo Larson, CAPE WIND: Offshore Renewable Energy Conflict, Book Chapter in: Conflict Resolution in Water Resources and Environmental Management, Springer, pp 227-241, 2015
[click to view]


Save our Sound Website
[click to view]

Native American Legal Update
[click to view]

Cape Wind Project
[click to view]

The Boston Globe-Editorial Opinion on the Cape Wind Project
[click to view]

The New York Times: "For Cape Cod Wind Farm, New Hurdle Is Spiritual", By ABBY GOODNOUGHJAN. 4, 2010
[click to view]

Other Documents

Source: Alliance to protect the Nantucket Sound (Save our sound)
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update02/04/2017