, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

June 4, 2009

A harborside turbine? Whole Foods 'ecoczar' outlines Gloucester wind energy plans

Community support will determine whether supermarket chain Whole Foods Market commits this summer to building a harborfront wind turbine to power its Parker Street fish processing plant, the company's regional "ecoczar" says.

Introducing the windmill project publicly in Gloucester for the first time Tuesday, Whole Foods' Lee Kane confirmed that the company wants to erect a $2 million, 240-foot windmill at its Pigeon Cove Plant at the base of the Jodrey State Fish Pier, but is weighing public opinion as well as technical feasibility before launching a formal application.

"In order for it to be feasible for Whole Foods, it will have to be feasible for the community," Kane, whose titles includes "regional forager" as well as "ecoczar," said in a phone interview yesterday. "We are not going to get in what is not good for Gloucester."

But, he added, "if we are going to do a wind project anywhere, it would be here."

In their first round of questions to Whole Foods, city councilors, who would have ultimate say on a windmill, reserved judgment on the project, but many said they wanted the project's financial benefits to reach local fishermen.

"I don't want to see the harbor filled with windmills," said Ward 2 Councilor John "Gus" Foote, a perennial advocate for fishermen. "I am not going to commit either way. A lot of promises are made on a lot of things. I want to make sure Gloucester fishermen are going to benefit."

Councilor Sefatia Romeo Theken said she was concerned with the potential effect on residents of "flicker" from the shadows of the turbine's spinning blades in the early morning and evening hours.

Ward 3 Councilor Steve Curcuru said the fact that Whole Foods is leasing the Parker Street property it would build on, instead of buying it, raised concerns about its long-term commitment to a large piece of equipment such as a windmill.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN