Madaket Wind Turbine Project

The Madaket Wind Turbine Project:  History & Timeline 
The Town has had a long-standing interest in wind-powered electric generation at the Madaket Landfill. In fact, numerous feasibility studies have been performed on wind projects at the Madaket site since the mid-1990s, including extensive studies of feasibility, wind resources, costs, benefits and potential impacts. By responsibly managing and mitigating potential risks, the town and community of Nantucket stand to benefit economically, socially and environmentally with the installation of the Madaket wind turbine. 

  • Devonrue Ltd: First Feasibility Study

  • Massachusetts Technology Collaborative in conjunction with UMass Renewable Energy Research Laboratory completed a preliminary feasibility study of Nantucket‘s wind resource at thirteen proposed sites 


  • June: MA Technology Trust granted $47,000 to Black & Veatch for a feasibility study of a Nantucket community wind project
  • FAA determines there is no hazard to navigation
  • Normandeau & Associates: Phase 1 of Avian Impact Study 

  •  June: MassCEC grant application submitted by Town Administration and Nantucket Energy Study Committee 
  • July: MassCEC grants award: $390,000 for design and construction of a 1.5MW turbine at SWF. This was amended to a $345,400 grant for a 900kW turbine
  • September: BOS approves MassCEC grant contracts
  • September: BOS approves $24,900 contract with Normandeux Associates for an Avian Impact Evaluation
  • October: BOS approved a $243,000 contract with SED to provide services for design development, design refinement, regulatory approval, and construction oversight of the Madaket Turbine Project.
  • November: Transport Study: Wind Turbine Parts
  • December: BOS approved a $58,700 contract with Atlantic Design Engineers to study the potential noise, flicker and visual impacts of the Wind Turbine.

  • January: First Public Wind Forum
  • March: First MassCEC Reimbursement Payment Received
  • April:  Annual Town Meeting Approval of Article 44 to expand the purpose of the Madaket landfill to include the development of wind energy 
  • April: Detailed Wind Study Completed
  • May: HDC Hearing
  • May:  Wildlife Impact Report completed
  • May: Presentation to Rotary Club
  • June: HDC Hearing
  • July: Second Balloon Test
  •  July: HDC Hearing 
  • July: BOS approves the contracts of Lauren Sinatra and George Aronson to act as the Nantucket Energy Office and to provide guidance and assistance to promoting the island’s energy initiatives
  • July: Final Site and Size Report
  • July: Refined Noise Study
  • August: Updated Photosims of single 900kW Turbine
  • August: Presentation to Fisher's Landing Association 
  • September: Meeting with National Grid Executives on net-metering and other issues
  • Mass DEP Application submitted
  • October: Nantucket ZBA, Mass Historical Commission, Interconnection Application permits submitted
  • October-7: Completion of MassCEC Milestone#2: permit submittals
  • October-20: Forum for Madaket Area Associations
  • November-8: Capital Program Committee Presentation
  • November-9: Presentation to the Board of Selectman
  • November-10: ZBA Hearing (postponed to December 8)
  • November-10: Open Public Forum
  • December-8: ZBA Hearing

  • Jan-4: BOS vote 3-2 to send Turbine Funding Article 13 to Annual Town Meeting
  • Feb-22, Board of Selectman presentation: Economics & Risk Assessment
  • Mar-4: Finance Committee vote on Article 13
  • ​Mar-7 Board of Selectman presentation: Turbine Health and Impacts
  • Mar-23: Acoustic Peer Review received from Acentech
  • Mar-31: Annual Town Meeting: Voters vote 62%-38% against Wind Turbine Funding. Project put on indefinite hold.
Project Overview
  • GOAL: Reduce the Town’s energy costs by generating renewable energy through a Town-owned wind energy conversion system (WECS)

  • TURBINE MODEL: 1x900kW (71M Hub)

  • APPROACH: The Town will develop, acquire permits for, design, install, own and operate the wind project

  • SITE: Current compost heap, behind the existing operations for recycling, waste composting, C&D waste transfer and landfill disposal of residues

  • VALUE: Electricity generated from the wind turbine would offset electricity costs for landfill operations, particularly the 24-hr compost digester ($355,897 in FY2011). Electricity from the wind turbine would also offset electricity costs from other Town buildings through National Grid’s net-metering program, and would also generate additional revenue from other Town buildings through sales of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

  • CAPITAL COSTS: Up to $3.9M. The Town has been awarded $345,400 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) to offset design and construction cost.

  • The Town: Lower Electric Bills (Energy Savings) at the compost digester and at other municipal buildings, including: Our Island Home, MRF, Town Hall, Fire Department, 4 Fairgrounds and 2 Fairgrounds.
  • Residents: Savings on energy costs can be allocated towards other tax payer needs and projects.
  • Everyone: Generate electricity locally without fossil fuels or emissions = a sustainable energy future on Nantucket


NOTE: The Madaket Wind Turbine Project (Article 13) was defeated in the 2012 Annual Town Meeting on March 31. 2012. This website is retained for archival and reference purposes.