Ferry Company Reverses Course On Cape Wind

By Sean Corcoran

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Mar. 22, 2011

A Hy-Line ferry leaves the coast of Cape Cod (Courtesy image).

WOODS HOLE — A prominent Cape Cod ferry company has reversed course and says it no longer opposes the plan to install 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, and instead will look to conduct "eco tours" of the Cape Wind turbine site.

Hy-Line Cruises, which operates ferries from Cape Cod to the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, says it will partner with the Cape Wind project to launch an ecotourism business out of Hyannis Inner Harbor.

Hy-Line previously voiced strong opposition to Cape Wind, primarily because of navigational issues. But Hy-Line's David Scudder says those concerns have been eased by reassurances both from the developer and the U.S. Coast Guard.

"We didn't go into this willy-nilly. We spent a lot of time and anguish looking at the project, looking at where we can fit in and looking at our ferry operations. And at the end of the day we are convinced this is the right decision for us, the right decision for Hyannis, the right decision for Cape Cod, and the right decision for the energy economy and the US moving forward," Scudder said.

Hy-Line s looking to commission the construction of a hybrid-powered ferry boat for the tours. And the company also intends to construct a Cape Wind Eco-Tours visitors center in Hyannis.

The tours would commence with Cape Wind's construction, which project president Jim Gordon says is expected in early 2012, if not before. But opponents of Cape Wind point out that so far the project has only found a buyer for half of its expected electricity generation, and several challenges to Cape Wind are still pending in the courts.

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