AT THE SAME TABLE - Environmentalists, unions see new economy built around renewable energy sources

Environmentalists had never seemed to agree with union man Marty Aikens. Where Aikens’ Local 103 envisioned employment opportunities in plans for new buildings or in a debate over a new nuclear power plant, advocates for the environment often saw danger.

‘‘I couldn’t deal with them for 20 years,’’ said Aikens, the business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 in Dorchester.

Then six years ago, a Boston-based energy company decided to build an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound - 130 wind turbines in shallow water nearly six miles south of Barnstable’s coast.

Soon, unions had teamed up with environmentalists and other supporters to convince lawmakers and other politicians to back the Cape Wind project. Local 103 even went as far as building a windmill at its headquarters off the Southeast Expressway in 2005 to promote wind power.

Click here to read this article in the Patriot Ledger