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SJC rules against property owner’s Cape Wind challenge

The state’s highest court has rejected a bid by the owner of a beachfront property on Martha’s Vineyard to intervene in the state’s approval of the Cape Wind project’s deal to sell electricity to National Grid.

Thomas Melone argued that Cape Wind’s giant wind turbine farm would have “adverse effects” on him. He said it would alter the view from his property, diminish its value, and that oil or other contaminants could find their way to his property.

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But the Supreme Judicial Court said today that that didn’t give Melone the right to challenge the approval by the Department of Public Utilities of the agreement by National Grid to purchase power that is to be generated by Cape Wind Associates’ 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.

The court said the department was “well within its broad discretion in denying Melone’s request to intervene in this matter.”

The proceeding before the state “concerned the cost effectiveness of the power purchase agreements,” the court said.

“The environmental and other concerns raised by Melone ... were beyond the scope of the proceeding. Nothing in [state law] requires the department to address the environmental and visual effects of a renewable energy generating source,” the court said.

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