By Elena Christopoulos
After nine years, something absolutely wonderful has happened in Cape Cod. On the 28th of April, an off-shore wind farm project was approved by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Salazar called the project a first step in the nation’s “clean energy revolution,” and vowed, “This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast.” It is my hope that the west coast will soon follow suit as there are many opportunities for off-shore wind farms down the coast of Southern California.
The wind farm will include 130 wind turbines over a 24-square-mile area in the shallow waters of Nantucket Sound. This will take over 400 homes off the ‘grid’ or some refer to it as becoming energy independent.
Why did this take nine years? It is answering the same questions that I was faced when placing the first urban wind turbine in North America, which was in downtown Toronto, Canada back in 1997.
Opponents of this exciting project are apparently appealing it in court. On a personal note, I would really like to know why. I know it is not the sound, nor the possible harm to birds, nor the energy production. Is the answer simply esthetics? Growing up in Europe I was exposed to windmills and turbines in Greece, Holland, Spain and Germany. As a child I was awestruck watching turbines spin blending so beautifully into the landscape. Am I wrong? Please let me know what you think.
For those who would like to support this initiative, contact the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). www.awea.org
“First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe…. Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!”
— Henry David Thoreau, from Paradise (To Be) Regained 
Elena Christopoulos is an environmental consultant based out of Los Angeles and Toronto. Ms.Christopoulos has advised some of North America’s most recognizable Fortune 500 companies, and also advises political campaigns and parties on electoral strategy, in both the public and private sectors in Canada, Europe, and the United States.
Her areas of specialty: are green environmental initiatives, alternative energy and health related initiatives and she is often referred to as a ‘wind guru’.
In 1997 she implemented the first urban turbine in North America (erected in downtown Toronto in 2002), the first community-owned power wind project in Ontario, and she has been involved in similar projects worldwide ever since — implemented recycling programs globally and lobbying for environmental issues to help frame public policy.
This ‘wind guru’s’ latest achievement is erecting the first wind turbine on a community college campus in LA County.