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Berkshire Wind Power Project, Massachusetts

STATUS: In progress, with opposition

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Silverleaf Resorts; Local residents

PROSPECTS: Likely

BACKGROUND: Berkshire Wind Power Project consists of 10, 1.5-megawatt wind turbines being erected on the ridgeline of Brodie Mountain in Hancock, MA. In 2008, the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp. (BWPCC) paid $4 million for the project assets, formerly owned by Berkshire Wind Power LLC, which initiated project development approximately 10 years ago.

A lawsuit was filed by Silverleaf Resorts and residents of Hancock, alleging that a permit had expired before construction and that the permit was not issued legally.  Construction of the project started in June 2009 but was suspended on October 8, 2009 after the Massachusetts Land Court issued an injunction prohibiting the Cooperative from using the project’s main access road for purposes of constructing the project. In part to preserve the assets of the Cooperative, four wind turbines and portions of three other turbine towers have been erected at the site.  Negotiations between the BWPCC and Silverleaf Resorts have continued since the injunction.

In September 2010, a settlement was reached, and work on the project commenced in October.

SOURCES: Berkshire Wind Coop: http://berkshirewindcoop.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=61
Windpowering America: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/ne_project_detail.asp?id=10&print;
Boston.com: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/08/03/communities_investing_in_wind_farm/;
National Wind Watch: http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2010/08/29/berkshire-wind-utility-lines-nearly-done-lawsuit-looms-as-last-obstacle/;
Mass High Tech: http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2010/11/08/weekly10-Wind-developers-seek-predictable-permitting.html

Last updated November 17, 2010