energy & wasteGoal: Ensure that the Vineyard community has reliable, secure,ample, affordable, and environmentally sound e...
energy & wasteThe management of energy and of waste is              There are several reasons to want to change the      •...
Many communities in the U.S. and elsewhere arewell ahead of us in embracing new technologies        Energy Self-Sufficienc...
energy & waste                                                     •	 Provide technical outreach and assistance toObjectiv...
Readily available technology can make dramatic       Nevertheless, the dispersed physicalimprovements in energy efficiency...
energy & wastepart of the requirement with mitigation fees           •	 Business audits would be required for            S...
Strategy E2-5: Become an incandescent-                  Strategy E2-8: Publicize our energyfree Island.                   ...
energy & wasteIn the long term, replacing the use of combustionengines with other available technologies such       Object...
There are three sizes of facilities:                    The Commonwealth’s draft Ocean Management                     Poss...
energy & waste                                                    Strategy E5-2: Establish an electrical                  ...
Strategy E6-2: Require that new                      Strategy E6-4: Develop informationObjective E6: Optimize potential   ...
energy & waste                                                      Strategy E7-2: Adopt developmentObjective E7: Develop ...
Four of the Island’s six towns – Aquinnah,                                                    Chilmark, Edgartown and West...
energy & wasteStrategy E8-2: Construct an integrated               Strategy E8-3: Use construction debrisIsland-wide recyc...
reduce Third-Class mail volume by providing                                                                Strategy E9-5: ...
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Energy and Waste: Ensuring that a Community has Reliable, Secure and Environmentally Sound Energy Supplies


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Energy and Waste: Ensuring that a Community has Reliable, Secure and Environmentally Sound Energy Supplies

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Energy and Waste: Ensuring that a Community has Reliable, Secure and Environmentally Sound Energy Supplies

  1. 1. SECTION 7
  2. 2. energy & wasteGoal: Ensure that the Vineyard community has reliable, secure,ample, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supplies;obtains as much of its energy as possible from sources that arerenewable and, increasingly, local; and transforms a maximumamount of our waste into useful resources.TARGET: Cut projected energy use by halfusing efficiency measures for buildings andtransportation, and produce or offset therest, mainly from community-owned facilities(e.g. about fifty, 500-foot-high offshore windturbines).R ising fuel costs and increasing environmental concerns make us more aware of the high costs and unsustainability of bringing virtually all ourenergy to the Island and transporting away virtually all our waste. Energyand waste offer huge potential to establish sustainable practices that will alsogenerate local employment.This section presents a multi-pronged approach to transforming the way we deal with theseimportant resources.• Energy Efficiency: to decrease the total energy needed, mainly in buildings andtransportation.• Renewable Energy Generation: to generate our own clean energy.• Solid Waste: transforming waste into useful resources in order to reduce the amount ofwaste we produce and then deal with it in more sustainable ways. Island Plan 7-1
  3. 3. energy & wasteThe management of energy and of waste is There are several reasons to want to change the • With respect to the environment, fossil fuelsessential for supporting human activity on the current system of providing energy to the Vineyard are our major source of energy. There is generalVineyard. We take for granted that we’ll have community. scientific agreement that burning fossil fuelsplenty of energy and that someone will take produces carbon dioxide that is influencing the • With respect to cost, the Vineyard has a largecare of our trash, garbage, and human waste. earth’s atmosphere and contributing to rapid and steadily increasing annual energy bill (more climate change. Burning these fuels results inEnergy: As of 2005, the Vineyard used than $64 million in 2005). Our energy costs are air and water pollution and emissions, whichapproximately 4.3 trillion BTUs of energy endanger health and contribute to climateannually (equivalent to 757 ,000 barrels of oil, change. Annual carbon dioxide emissionsor three-quarters of a 1,000-foot supertanker). attributable to the Vineyard were 329,000We use about 30% of this energy for heating tons in 2003 and will rise to 457 ,000 tons byand cooling our buildings, 33% for electricity for 2050 if we take no new action. The Vineyardlighting, appliances, and machinery, and 37% is particularly vulnerable to effects of climatefor transportation. Our principal energy fuels are change such as rising sea levels, more frequentoil, propane, and gasoline, as well as electricity and severe weather events, and health risks fromgenerated primarily from the source fuels (in insect-borne diseases. Importing our electricitydecreasing order of magnitude) natural gas, from distant power plants means that a substantialnuclear, coal, and oil. Most of the cordwood burned amount of power is wasted in the conversion offor heat comes from off-Island. The generation source fuels into electricity and in transmissionof electricity on-Island from small wind turbines losses; it takes about three units of energy at theand various solar systems does not yet produce a plant to produce one unit on the Vineyard.meaningful percentage of our energy needs. • With respect to reliability, foreign fuel sourcesThe Vineyard consumes a disproportionally high are increasingly insecure and unstable and mayamount of energy because of the nature of our subject the community to supply shortages andbuildings and settlement pattern. It costs a lot among the highest in the United States. Since more price fluctuations beyond our control. The factmore to heat a single-family dwelling with four than 99% of our energy is produced off-Island, that we have to bring energy to our shores resultsexposed walls and a roof, than an apartment that these expenditures leave our local economy. Both in higher risks. Fuels are shipped to the Islandloses heat only through one exterior wall. And the Vineyard’s year-round community and visitor- by ferry or barge, subjecting the Vineyard toour low-density housing, spread across the Island, based economy are sensitive to high energy costs shipping-related issues. Electricity is brought tomeans that we have a much higher proportion and disruptions to the energy supply. the Island by four 23.2-kilovolt underwater cablesof people who drive compared to an inner-city that are vulnerable and hard to repair, and theneighborhood where people can more easily Vineyard’s 50-megawatt peak electricity usagewalk, bike, and take transit. level is fast approaching their 62.5-megawatt capacity; the cost of additional cables will be high and will be borne by all.Island Plan 7-2
  4. 4. Many communities in the U.S. and elsewhere arewell ahead of us in embracing new technologies Energy Self-Sufficiency energy locally is a large, expensive change their dependence upon fossil fuels, and While there is a variety of renewable sourcescan serve as models for Martha’s Vineyard. Also, The region’s strong and consistent winds and different scales of production from whichthe Vineyard’s abundant resource of wind energy could enable the Vineyard to supply or offset we can generate our needs, there are definitegives us options not available to most other its energy needs, and even produce excess economies of scale. For example, to producecommunities. energy to sell to the mainland, by 2050. While the amount of energy we are likely to need, current projections do not foresee complete it would take 32 of the largest, utility-scaleIn relation to the Island Plan’s goal of making replacement of fossil fuels with renewable wind turbines (more than 550 feet high at thethe Vineyard a sustainable island, this section energy sources, mainly due to transportation blade tip, presumably located well offshoreoutlines a way to make the Vineyard largely power demands, we could generate enough in federal waters) at a cost of about halfenergy neutral by 2050, essentially by using surplus electricity to offset greenhouse gas a billion dollars, whereas it would take anefficiency measures to reduce overall energy emissions from those fossil fuels. impractical 85,500 small, domestic-scaleconsumption by 50%, and then generating this With current growth trends, our energy use wind turbines (one for every ¾ of an acre ofenergy from renewable sources such as wind would grow from 4.3 trillion Btu today to 5.5 land) at a cost of $2.6 billion.turbines. Achieving these ambitious targetspresents complex challenges that would involve trillion Btu by mid-century. This projection We will likely obtain our future energy needsa significant commitment, but if the community anticipates that improved efficiencies will from a variety of sources using a combinationchooses to do this, it is within our reach. outpace increased power usage, so per of individual, municipal and utility scale capita energy use decreases some 20%.Fundamental to achieving the energy objectives facilities. From what we know today, though, With the Plan’s Modest Growth scenario andoutlined in this section is to achieve a it seems clear that to produce substantial additional aggressive efficiency measures, weconsensus on effective strategies among major portions of our energy needs will depend could reduce our projected total energy usestakeholders. This involves bringing together the mainly upon utility-scale wind facilities that by more than half, down to 2.7 trillion establishment – utility companies, Cape can only be physically accommodated in theLight Compact, fuel transporters, wholesalers Even producing this reduced amount of waters offshore of the Vineyard.and retailers – to build consensus for cohesive,integrated strategies. Waste: The volume of waste the Vineyard off sewage sludge and organic materials disposes of is an energy-intensive and, thus, we could use to make our own fertilizer and costly operation. Currently we ship 33,500 tons compost. Wiser use of what we now discard as of trash off-Island each year, accounting for waste could reclaim useable resources, reduce 15% of the Steamship Authority’s freight traffic, waste transportation costs, create new economic or one in seven freight trips. Our generation of opportunities, and even produce energy. waste is growing much faster than our year-round population. If we look instead at waste as a resource, we might address multiple issues. We import compost at great expense, while shipping Island Plan 7-3
  5. 5. energy & waste • Provide technical outreach and assistance toObjective E1: Organize to deal identify opportunities and evaluate technologies,effectively with energy issues. train construction community and building inspectors in energy efficiency constructionCommon to all the energy issues discussed in techniques, offer and coordinate incentivesthis section is the need for well thought-out and such as tax credits, rebates, grants, and lowintegrated mechanisms to organize, educate, interest loans, design and operate an energyfund, and lobby. audit-upon-sale program, train and superviseStrategy E1-1: Develop an Island-wide competent energy auditing teams.organizational infrastructure to sustain • Provide technical support for existing buildingenergy efficiency and generation inspectors with enforcement powers to certifyinitiatives. the energy efficiency of construction. Presently,The challenges to our community for effectively each town has its own building inspector. Untiladdressing the demands, technologies, and towns could justify their own individual energycosts for the production and management inspectors, the position of an Island-wide Energyof energy will require multiple initiatives and Building Inspector could be created to checkstrategies. While individual towns and the 7.1 for compliance and ensure that techniques areprivate sector may perform some of this, the being applied correctly.larger initiatives that promise the most impact in Energy Efficiencyimproving efficiencies, changing user behavior, • Establish a revolving fund allowing financingor developing our Vineyard-grown resource of energy projects.will require a high level of coordination among The Vineyard Energy Project provides some ofthe towns to produce a complementary, if not Energy efficiency efforts may be the least these functions. The VEP could be transformedunified, effort to bring about positive change. A exciting, but are also the simplest and least or a new Vineyard Energy Commission could befew examples of such Island-wide activities that expensive way to improve our energy situation. created with official town representation.could fall under one or more entities are: In the oil crisis of the 1970s, President Carter• Receive grants, rate surplus and tax revenue, asked the American people to put on aevaluate proposals and administer funds; sweater and turn down the thermostat. That isauthorize bonding authority to finance larger an example of energy conservation. Today,public energy projects. technological advances offer us the opportunity to provide the equivalent services using smaller amounts of energy. Compact fluorescents provide the same amount of light using one- third the energy. This is an example of energy efficiency.Island Plan 7-4
  6. 6. Readily available technology can make dramatic Nevertheless, the dispersed physicalimprovements in energy efficiency both cost development of the Vineyard makes it likely Objective E2: Reduce the amounteffective and reliable. Examples include that personal motor vehicles will remain our of energy used in buildings.fluorescent lighting, super-insulation, high- predominant means of transportation even 50 In 2005, the approximately 15,000 housingperformance windows, Energy Star appliances, years from now. If we are to make a significant units (including guest houses and apartments)and high-efficiency heating systems. Retrofit reduction in the amount of the energy that and nonresidential buildings accounted for 58%projects can save up to 50% of energy use. Our transportation consumes and the destructive of the energy used on the Vineyard. Energytargets for 2050 include 50% improvement from waste it emits, we will need to improve fuel use in buildings can be reduced by requiringefficiency gains using currently known efficiency consumption rates of vehicles, and transition to higher efficiency new construction, improvingtechniques, with the anticipation that even cleaner burning or “green” fuels that might be the energy performance of existing buildings,greater opportunities will avail themselves in the generated on-Island. and setting up a rate structure that encouragesfuture. This is an ambitious target, given recent people to use less energy.growth in energy consumption. Strategy E2-1: Adopt a Vineyard EnergyExisting technologies, our low-density settlement Code requiring new construction to bepattern, and our automobile-dependent society more energy efficient.make it most challenging to substantially reduce It is now feasible to build much more efficiently,energy and carbon emissions in transportation, thereby reducing owners’ annual heating andwhich is one third of the Island’s energy cooling costs. In 2009, the Commonwealthconsumption. Total motor vehicle miles traveled adopted a stricter energy code that will behas been increasing by approximately 2% per fully effective in July 2010. Since 2008,year, twice the population growth rate, and SSA the Commonwealth’s Green Communitiestraffic has grown in the shoulder and off-seasons Act enables localities to adopt even stricter(at least until the current economic crisis). The local energy codes. The state has drafted alarge home services and construction sectors “stretch” energy code for possible adoptionrequire a lot of travel throughout the Island. by municipalities. It is recommended thatThe Island Plan (section 9: Transportation) Vineyard towns amend the energy portionoutlines a series of measures aimed at reducing of their building codes to phase in improvedthe amount of car usage, including making energy performance, requiring 50% greaterpublic transit more compelling to use and energy performance in 2015, and increasingimproving facilities for bicycles and pedestrians. performance targets every five years so that byIt also (section 2: Development & Growth) 2030, new buildings will be 90% more efficientoutlines long-term planning strategies to focus than today’s requirements. These performancedevelopment in more compact, walkable towns standards should give credit for using renewableand villages. energy sources and could include offsetting Island Plan 7-5
  7. 7. energy & wastepart of the requirement with mitigation fees • Business audits would be required for Strategy E2-4: Implement energythat would go into a revolving fund to pay for buildings with annual energy bills of more than a pricing structures that encourageother energy improvements in the community. given threshold, with mandatory implementation energy efficiency.Homeowners could finance these efficiency of efficiency measures with less than 10-year The average house size has increasedimprovements in several ways such as low- simple payback. considerably on the Vineyard, and seasonalinterest loans or energy efficiency mortgages homes are increasingly heated year-round, Strategy E2-3: Create a revolving fundwhich are paid back with the cost savings from so even with more efficient buildings, energy for energy improvements – the Islandreduced energy consumption, as well as by consumption can continue to rise. This could Energy Fund.using the increasing number of federal and state lead to energy price increases or supply Property owners who undertake energygrant and tax credit programs. disruptions that will affect the whole community. efficiency improvements – especially those with Communities across the nation have shown thatStrategy E2-2: Institute energy audits less than a 10-year payback identified in their inverted pricing such as inclining block ratesand upgrades upon residential property energy audit – could get low-interest loans (the more you buy, the higher the unit price) issales and for all commercial buildings. from a revolving fund. Loans for public and an effective way of changing behavior, allowingOur old buildings are usually the least energy affordable housing projects could be interest efficient users to benefit from rates subsidizedefficient. Once a Vineyard Energy Code is in free. The fund could be financed by floating by inefficient users. Setting up an incliningplace, we should set up a system requiring that an bonds, from mitigation fees for buildings unable block rate program would require working withenergy audit be conducted when a property is sold, to meet their full energy requirements, and with the power supplier, fuel distributors and statesimilar to mandatory Title 5 septic inspections. The arrangements with energy suppliers to pay back agencies. The inclining block methodology wasaudit could be accompanied by expert advice in implementation costs from savings in energy applied successfully to water rates in Californiareducing energy needs for lighting, refrigeration, bills (already available to large customers under during the 1990s drought and remains in placeventilation, and air conditioning. Energy upgrades area-wide agreements or Utility Energy Savings at many public and private water agencies.could be encouraged, or even required for Contracts). Aspen, Colorado has had such a The program could be designed to be revenue-efficiency measures with less than a 10-year simple program for many years, and Vachon Island neutral, or to send net proceeds to the Islandpayback, perhaps assisted with a revolving fund. in Washington State is instituting energy fees Energy Fund for reinvestment in efficiency andConversions to non-greenhouse-gas-emitting energy to support a revolving loan fund for energy renewable generation projects.sources would be encouraged and rewarded. improvement programs.• Residential audits would be required uponthe home sale, allowing sellers and buyers tonegotiate prices or possibly triggering requiredupgrades by the seller for efficiency measureswith a 10-year payback.Island Plan 7-6
  8. 8. Strategy E2-5: Become an incandescent- Strategy E2-8: Publicize our energyfree Island. challenges and opportunities for Objective E3: Reduce the amountReplacing incandescent light bulbs with efficient addressing them. of fossil fuels used in motorizedcompact fluorescents (CFL) or other efficient Changing attitudes and behavior is the most transportation.bulbs is the simplest short-term energy-efficiency challenging part of this work. For generations, Other parts of the Island Plan address strategies tomeasure and one from which homeowners most energy has been an inexpensive commodity reduce the use of motorized transportation, but itimmediately see reduced monthly electricity and has been taken for granted. We need to is also important to reduce the use of fossil fuels incosts. Annual savings average about $100 foster greater understanding of the critical role the motorized transportation that does take place.per household. Australia is banning the sale that energy plays in our lives and the energyof incandescent bulbs by 2010 and Canada challenge before us. Our efforts will be more We have choices in the size of our vehicles and,by 2012. If every Islander exchanged 15 successful if they emphasize the benefits of increasingly, the fuels to power them. Choosingincandescent bulbs for more efficient bulbs, the choice and comparability of options rather than fuel-efficient vehicles could significantly reduceIsland’s annual electrical consumption would suggesting that being efficient involves self- the amount of petroleum-based fuels wedecline by 7%. A program promoting this sacrifice or “doing without.” If we are to succeed consume and the related damages to the airexchange could involve trained door-to-door at creating an energy paradigm shift, we need quality and public health.personnel equipped to make on-the-spot change to have the commitment of Islanders of all ages With fuel efficiencies double or more thanouts, calls on businesses to explain efficient – essentially a mass movement. Educating and today’s average vehicle, hybrids and otheralternative lighting and arrange incentives for motivating people about the energy choices the efficient vehicles – such as soon to be availableefficiency measures. Vineyard faces will require the involvement of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles – offer utility companies and major energy consumers.Strategy E2-6: Require new pools to be the easiest solutions to reducing our fossil fuels A variety of approaches should be pursued andsolar-heated. used in transportation. could involve developing a social marketingSolar pool heating has very quick payback program to popularize energy awareness; The Vineyard holds particular promise forand offers significant fuel savings. A simple and stepping up energy education programs in alternative-powered automobiles. Someeffective short-term efficiency measure would schools to educate future consumers; illustrating concerns about these vehicles – such as thebe to mandate that any new heated pool be operational costs/benefits of energy efficiency duration of battery charges between chargingaccompanied by passive or active solar pool implementation; and running a program to raise stations, the inability to accelerate rapidly,heating adequate to meet the pool’s needs, as awareness about carbon footprints and how to and the reduced collision resistance of lighterwell as requiring that all pool and hot tub covers reduce them. vehicles – are less problematic here, since Islandbe insulated. trip distances are relatively short and there areStrategy E2-7: Convert to more energy no speed limits over 45 mph. The Vineyardefficient building HVAC systems. could be the ideal location for a prototypeAs surplus renewable electric energy becomes installation of innovative vehicles, for the reasonsavailable, establish incentives and furnish expertise mentioned above, and because only a smallfor conversion of building heating/cooling/hot number of prototype fueling stations would bewater systems to geothermal heat pumps. needed to service a fleet of experimental cars kept permanently on-Island. Island Plan 7-7
  9. 9. energy & wasteIn the long term, replacing the use of combustionengines with other available technologies such Objective E4: Improve Island airas electric motors, hydrogen-powered fuel cells quality related to transportation.or vehicles designed to store power for the Burning fossil fuels pollutes our air. Motor boats,Island, in combination with locally generated lawn equipment, idling vehicles, all impact theenergy from renewable sources, will allow us to Vineyard’s air quality. Diesel fuel is one of thework towards the goal of zero emissions for the contributors to particulates in the air that areIsland’s transportation sector. linked to the rise of asthma in the United States.Strategy E3-1: Promote use of hybrid The Island has many services and industriesand other energy-efficient vehicles. dependent upon diesel-fueled engines: the ferries and boats; most of the buses used forHybrid cars go twice as far on a gallon of public transit, schools and tourism; vehicles andgas as the typical car on the road, so if we equipment used in construction, home servicesall switched to hybrid vehicles, we’d reduce such as fuel delivery and landscaping, andgasoline consumption in automobiles by 50%. agriculture.If, in a decade from now, we all drive the plug-in hybrids that will then be available, we’d Strategy E4-1: Use availablereduce gas consumption by 75%. Measuresto encourage use of fuel-efficient vehicles technologies to lessen the impact of diesel fuel use on the Island. 7.2include having towns and other public agencies Phase in requirements for all Island diesel-buy them, and/or requiring that taxis anda proportion of car rentals be fuel-efficient. powered vehicles to use clean fuel alternatives: better grades of diesel, biodiesel, electric. Renewable EnergyIndividuals could be encouraged to maketheir next car a hybrid or other fuel-efficient Conduct a pilot project for Island school buses and/or for ferry buses to demonstrate the Generationvehicle with an information campaign, and with viability of clean fuel alternatives to use of dieselincentives such as priority ferry reservations and Generating electricity locally can help stabilize fuels, such as adding a percentage of biodieselbetter parking spaces. our energy costs; reduce hazards, power losses to the fuel mix. and costs associated with bringing fuel and Strategy E4-2: Eliminate unnecessary power from off-Island; and provide a strong vehicle idling. new sector to our year-round economy and Institute an anti-idling program based on labor market. The main potential local sources education, monitoring, and enforcement. Target for renewable generation – wind, solar, and staging and passenger pickup areas at ferries, geothermal – can meet the Vineyard’s power airports, schools, and parking lots. Work to needs while appreciably lessening our carbon alleviate vehicle wait times and congestion, dioxide emissions. Energy generated from especially due to parking. biomass, septic waste, or solid waste may also supplement our needs.Island Plan 7-8
  10. 10. There are three sizes of facilities: The Commonwealth’s draft Ocean Management Possible Renewable Energy Sources Plan, released in June 2009, identifies two• Small, residential-scale, or on-site, facilities Various ways of producing 2.1 trillion Btus per year areas in state waters for commercial, utility-scaleserving the relatively small energy demands of (modest growth and efficiency measures) wind-generated renewable energy, both in thethe individual land owner. Source Units Total $M waters of Dukes County. One area is south of Wind - offshore utility scale (6MW turbines) 32 675• Medium, municipal-scale facilities for Nomans Land Island (in the waters of Chilmark Wind - domestic scale (10kW turbines) 85,500 2,565individual users with large energy needs or and Aquinnah) and the other is southwest of Solar - centralized utility scale (acres) 577 1,297serving a cluster of energy users. Cuttyhunk Island (in Gosnold). Combined, these Solar - domestic rooftop (3kW units) 171,100 2,848• Large, utility-scale facilities providing power two areas could host about 166 turbines (3.4to a broad community of users. megawatts each, 440 feet high) producing about The federal government has initiated a process for planning development of commercial windWind, especially the stronger winds offshore, farms in a large area of federal waters stretchingoffers the best opportunity for utility-scale from south of Martha’s Vineyard to south ofgeneration, which is needed if we are to meet Nantucket, identified as having exceptionallymuch of our Island’s energy needs. Relatively good wind resources. This area offers thelarge amounts of land are needed for utility- potential of significantly greater energyscale solar and wind facilities, and large wind production due to higher wind speeds, whileturbines could have significant impacts on their minimizing environmental and other impacts onsurroundings, which is another inducement to the land and in coastal areas (birds, boating,erect wind-powered facilities offshore. scenic values, etc.). However, technologies forWell before 2050, the Vineyard could generate erection of wind turbines in deeper waters areenough renewable energy to supply our not as proven.electricity needs and to offset the carbon from These state and federally identified areas couldthe fossil energy we would still likely need to serve as the site for any Vineyard-initiated orimport, based on the projection that energy owned wind projects, and could generate manyefficiency measures will reduce demand by 50%. times the power needed by the Vineyard. It isAny number of potential combinations of energy very likely that power from these wind facilities Ocean Plan: The Massachusetts Ocean Managementsource type and scale could achieve energy self- Plan designates two areas west and south of Martha’s would be connected to a substation in Newsufficiency. One largely decentralized scenario Vineyard for large-scale commercial wind farms. The Bedford.of mostly on-site, municipal-scale wind and solar waters east of the Cape Cod National Seashore are a prohibited area. Potential areas in federal waters are As the state and federal planning and permittingfacilities would have a capital cost of about $1.4 shown in blue and gray.billion. A more centralized scenario of utility-scale processes advance, it is important to ensure thatfacilities would produce the same energy at about 600 megawatts. The Ocean Management Plan these projects are well designed and that theyhalf the cost. also suggests that the federal government develop maximize the community benefit to the people of additional turbines in federal waters between and Dukes County. beyond the two state-designated areas. Island Plan 7-9
  11. 11. energy & waste Strategy E5-2: Establish an electrical consumer-owned cooperative aimed at generatingObjective E5: Pursue local, utility- cooperative or Island utility company. renewable energy and distributing it to members.scale generation of energy. Community ownership of generation facilities can Strategy E5-3: Prepare a plan that pass on savings in energy production costs directlyThe simple fact is that our energy demands far identifies the best locations for to community members in the form of reducedexceed the energy generation capabilities of on- renewable energy facilities. electric bills. Community ownership might be insite, residential-scale generation technologies. The preparation of a Wind Energy Facilities the form of sales of shares in energy projectsThe only practical and most cost-effective way Siting Plan for Martha’s Vineyard would or the establishment of a Vineyard public utilityto produce substantial amounts of our energy allow for balancing available energy sourcesneeds would be to use utility-scale energy with other community considerations. It isgeneration. This would most likely involve recommended that town planning boards,town planning boards, the utility company, energy committees, utilities, and Islandconservation groups, and state and federal conservation groups participate in evaluatingofficials identifying the best onshore and potential sites and gaining public approval ofoffshore sites for clustering utility-scale wind sites through public outreach and education.turbines, to find the best balance between Analysis of potential locations for wind turbinesmaximizing renewable energy production, should consider factors such as average windminimizing negative impacts (such as noise, speed, airport restrictions, environmental andflicker effect, deterioration of scenic and scenic impacts, proximity to the electrical grid,cultural values), minimizing costs, and providing access to major roads for construction, andcommunity benefits. proximity to abutters. Producing our own energy through community-owned facilities such asStrategy E5-1: Advocate changing state a carefully located offshore windfarm – withlaw to allow electricity distribution by siting determined by the local community – canlocal energy generation facilities. Wind Turbines size. Height in feet relative to the East stabilize and eventually reduce our electric bills.Present regulations limit flexibility and Chop Lighthouse and the High School turbine (HS). A similar analysis should be made of potentialcooperation in the harnessing and use locations of tidal projects and large-scale arraysof renewable energy. For example, a company. Because a community-owned entity that of photovoltaic solar panels.neighborhood might have a superior site for could contract for, finance, and manage utility-a wind turbine that could support the entire scale electrical generation facilities and future Strategy E5-4: Explore renewableneighborhood, but current state law prevents storage facilities is more likely to reduce user energy generation with site-specificthe power from a private generation facility rates, it would also be more likely to gain public sources.being transported across property lines. The support of necessary projects. The Cape Light Work with the Island’s refuse organizationsCommonwealth’s efforts to allow electricity Compact has established the Cape and Vineyard and wastewater commissions, State Forestgenerated at one farm to be allocated to other Energy Cooperative focused on supplying management, and Island farmers to explorefarms across the state may pave the way for the electricity to municipalities, and several Vineyard the potential for using the Island’s constructionnonfarming private sector. towns have joined. The Vineyard Energy Project waste and woody biomass, and possible use of is in the process of setting up Vineyard Power, a methane gases for energy generation.Island Plan 7-10
  12. 12. Strategy E6-2: Require that new Strategy E6-4: Develop informationObjective E6: Optimize potential development provide for the and incentive programs for propertyfor on-site, residential-scale incorporation of renewable energy. owners to encourage on-site energyenergy generation. Town zoning regulations should require that new generation. buildings be positioned and built to provide for Provide information on available equipment,Current technologies do not enable us to the incorporation of renewable energy, now funding options, zoning and interconnectioneconomically produce all of our energy needs or in the future. This could include orienting issues for all technologies. Funding optionsfrom on-site, residential-scale generation buildings to maximize solar gain, solar energy might include property tax breaks, low-interestfacilities. Nevertheless, such on-site facilities generation, and day-lighting opportunities; loans, funding from the Island Energy Fund andare an effective strategy to help curtail use of positioning buildings so as not to shade each feed-in tariffs (once an Island utility company isfossil fuels as they eliminate transmission losses other; and preparing buildings to enable established).and reduce the size of the generation facility, installation of solar hot water and solar electricwhich can reduce concerns about visibility Strategy E6-5: Investigate renewable systems in the future if the site has south-facingof facilities scaled for larger generation. All energy options specific to farmers. roofs or ground area.sites should be thought of as potential energy Costs of farming operations may be lowered,generation locations. Solar electric and wind Strategy E6-3: Promote conversion to the cultivation season lengthened, and wastesystems can generate power for the Island year- more energy-efficient building and hot reduced by providing supplemental heat to farmround whether or not the buildings they are water systems. greenhouses with solar thermal technologies orassociated with are occupied. Solar hot water A program should be undertaken to encourage biogas digesters for use with animal manure andis particularly beneficial for buildings occupied property owners to upgrade existing heating farm waste to generate on-site energy.year-round and for sites with high hot water and hot water systems and to incorporate thedemand. New technologies make geothermal best systems in new construction. It should targetenergy increasingly viable for home heating and existing homes with electric hot water heaters,cooling. year-round housing with good solar access, and any buildings that will be using large amounts ofStrategy E6-1: Identify sites with water, such as hotels and restaurants. It shouldadvantageous access to renewable promote use of clean-burning, efficient wood-energy sources. fired appliances and upgrading from outdatedUse mapping and other technologies to identify wood stoves to systems that meet the highest EPAareas with good wind resources or with soils standards.suitable for geothermal installations. Include inthe evaluation proximity to the electrical grid.Prepare for public consumption a list of sitesor areas that might benefit most from availableenergy sources. This could be part of the WindEnergy Facilities Siting Plan (Strategy E5-3). Island Plan 7-11
  13. 13. energy & waste Strategy E7-2: Adopt developmentObjective E7: Develop capacity regulations that encourage renewableand a regulatory framework energy encourage and support the Town by-laws and MVC DRI development guidelines can encourage appropriatelydevelopment and installation of scaled energy generation facilities to minimizerenewable energy generation. uncertainty while still protecting neighborhoodThe public’s confidence in using renewable character. Where possible, it would be desirableenergy can be greatly boosted by providing for such regulations to be standardized acrossunbiased, clear information in the rapidly the Island.evolving industry, which is partly accomplishedthrough trained installers and maintenance Strategy E7-3: Improve consumerpersonnel. Well crafted regulations on where education and protection by providingand how renewable energy facilities can be current information on products anddeveloped can help assure the community that practices. Provide an ongoing and updated list ofall aspects of such facilities are being taken into available, tested products to improve consumeraccount. 7.3 education and protection. For example: ProvideStrategy E7-1: Create training programs information on products available that arefor workers needed to support the appropriate in historic districts or new productsgrowing renewable energy industry.Provide ongoing education for electricians,plumbers, and the construction community that are ready for widespread application. Solid Wasteto ensure that knowledgeable installers and We should move to converting most of ourmaintenance teams are available on the waste into useful resources with an integrated,Vineyard. Enact a certification program for Island-wide program of waste management.renewable energy installers using a nationally The emphasis needs to be both on controllingrecognized program and offer certification and influencing what we generate as wastecourses and testing on-Island. Provide vocational and on how we are maximizing potentialsprograms at the high school to train students as for reuse. Other communities have shownrenewable energy installers or energy efficiency leadership in managing waste effectively withtechnicians. programs to reduce the generation of waste, to reuse building and other materials, to convert organic waste into compost, and to transform waste into energy. Converting our waste to useful local purposes rather than shipping it off- Island decreases energy and expenses used forIsland Plan 7-12
  14. 14. Four of the Island’s six towns – Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown and West Tisbury – are Objective E8: Convert most of members of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional our waste into useful resources Refuse Disposal District, jointly handling their waste management. Oak Bluffs and Tisbury are with an integrated, Island-wide no longer members of the District, and manage program of waste management. their wastes together. These two towns are the Strategy E8-1: Develop an Island- most densely populated and are the only towns wide system for coordinated waste that provide curbside collection. In addition, management. several private companies are involved in The fragmentation of current management collection, consolidation, and off-Island shipment systems – among towns and between the public of waste, independent of any governmental and private sectors – increases administrative functions. and operational costs, has resulted in varying disposal practices for people across the The addition of three components to our current Island and within towns that present barriers waste system – a large-scale composting facility, to increasing recycling practices and re- a used building materials exchange, and a use programs, and makes it harder to reachtransportation of waste and provides resources comprehensive recycling facility – may allow the critical mass needed for some kinds ofof community value. Some communities, such as us to create both jobs and products (compost, processing. This inhibits opportunities toNantucket, mine their old landfills for materials mulch, biomass for heating, building materials, increase recycling and reuse programs andthat can be recycled or converted to energy, etc.) while reducing energy consumption and more sustainable processing practices. Asthereby removing potential groundwater costs. Nantucket’s integrated solid waste transportation and processing costs continue tocontaminants and restoring valuable real disposal system, encompassing landfill cleanup, climb and population increases, an approach toestate for new uses. Nantucket, which has a recycling, and composting, has reduced waste management which integrates all handlingcentralized composting facility, is now the top waste by 86%. A thorough feasibility study systems would not only be more efficient, but therecycling community in the country, with only 8% looking at site considerations, material sources, combined volume of waste resources could openof waste ending up in a landfill. collection methods, use options, and product up new opportunities such as composting and resale is needed to develop an appropriate building materials recycling to draw us nearer to comprehensive approach for the Vineyard. The being a zero-waste community. A coordinated first objective below focuses on managing waste approach would facilitate dealing with after it enters the waste stream while the second increasingly complex and costly requirements deals mainly with ways to reduce, reuse, and and technologies, and would make it possible to recycle so materials don’t have to be treated or more efficiently finance necessary infrastructure disposed of in the first place. improvements. Island Plan 7-13
  15. 15. energy & wasteStrategy E8-2: Construct an integrated Strategy E8-3: Use construction debrisIsland-wide recycling/composting and available biomass (wood waste, Objective E9: Pursuefacility. leaves, and organic wastes) as a local opportunities to reduce, reuse,A large portion of the Island’s waste that resource. and recycle waste materials.cannot be recycled or reused in its present Under this objective, government or a private Many communities are attempting creativeform can be “cooked,” breaking down the sector operator would create and/or operate ways to manage waste in response to spacevolume of material and significantly reducing a facility to accept and receive construction limitations, regulations, financial considerations,the amount of solid waste we need to ship off- waste, demolition debris, and other unwanted and increased concern about the wastefulIsland. Sources for compostable materials could or surplus building materials; essentially a consumption of resources that still contain utility.include sewage sludge, schools, restaurants, supermarket for used building materials and People (not just Vineyarders) have long trolledthe hospital, senior housing, and individual processed wood waste – the latter for use landfills to salvage items still containing somehomes. This facility would also allow towns to as fuel, mulch, or compost supplements. The utility. Salvation Army clothing deposit boxesmine their capped landfills, harvesting useable operator would conduct sorting, separation, and local thrift shops rely upon such gentlycontents of the buried waste and removing the storage, and inventory functions to make used items. Unfortunately, such practices arethreat to groundwater quality posed by the materials available for reuse. Fees and plagued with the fear of insurance liability orcapped (impervious membrane on top) but charges for materials would be expected but unscrupulous people simply depositing unusablenot lined (no membrane underneath) landfills. still represent a savings over disposal costs trash. Continuing public education is neededOnce all useable resources are extracted from or purchasing items new. These efforts could to overcome skepticism about whether carefullythe excavated waste, the remaining material be supplemented by ordinances requiring or sorted glass and plastics are, in fact, ending upwould return to a lined area of the landfill and incentives for on-site separation of materials recycled.ultimately be capped. Such mining could also during construction or prohibitions on disposal.return portions of the current landfill acreages On a more aggressive level, this facility could Strategy E9-1: Reduce the amount ofto alternative, active use. A thorough feasibility also become involved with processing forest and potential waste brought to the must first be conducted. landscaping wood waste. The first step is to minimize the importing of unnecessary materials that will ultimately have to be disposed of. This can be done by educating consumers, retailers, and applicators of alternatives to continued use of hazardous and toxic materials, especially those that will cause disposal issues, and to assure availability of these alternate products. We should encourage hardware and grocery stores to discontinue the sale of toxic products. The use of packaging materials can be reduced by promoting the reuse of bags and packaging, and by adopting packaging polices for shipping goods to the Island and for on-Island retailers. We canIsland Plan 7-14
  16. 16. reduce Third-Class mail volume by providing Strategy E9-5: Adopt mandatoryeducation about ways to stop unwanted recycling.catalogues and junk mailings. In order to increase recycling, some communities throughout the United States have madeStrategy E9-2: Improve awareness of participation mandatory.waste disposal processes.Reinstill the public’s faith in the recycling Strategy E9-6: Minimize demolition ofprograms already in place through periodic homes.information in the newspapers or posted Promote alternatives such as restoration,at disposal sites on the volume of materials improvement, relocation and deconstructionrecycled and the monetary savings to the of buildings for reuse and recycling. Providecommunity. Develop educational programs incentives to not demolish. Institute towntargeting businesses, institutions, and demolition delay by-laws that require buildingsgovernments. A part of the education process be offered for reuse for a certain time frameshould include encouraging the purchase before they are allowed to be demolished.of refurbished materials and products withrecycled content, in order to support the Strategy E9-7: Consider septic tankdemand for recyclables. dewatering. Strategy E9-4: Provide for the reuse or The use of residential septic tank dewateringStrategy E9-3: Increase the number repurposing of materials. systems could lessen the transport costsof recycling containers and satellite Work with existing thrift stores and the associated with septic tank pumpouts as well asdrop-off sites. Dumptique to address operational barriers to reducing the volume of waste to be transportedIn the past few years, the SSA has placed expanded use. Work with the municipal waste and disposed of.recycling containers aboard ferries. Weshould look at all public trash receptacles as stations to address legal concerns with people Strategy E9-8: Generate biodiesel frompotential locations for recycling containers with picking through discarded materials, examining waste cooking oil. practices of other communities. Similar to the Construct a biodiesel generation facility usingmultiple compartments for sorted materials. reuse of construction materials, entire programs waste cooking oils.Consideration might also be given to additional might be created around particular materials;drop-off sites for paper and other recyclables. e.g. an independent entity could collect used latex paint and then mix and redistribute (sell) it. Island Plan 7-15