David Brooks wants to buy the rights to Norwell’s wind.
Brooks, a Norwell resident and proponent of wind power, wants permission from the town to build several wind turbines to provide electrical power. He says it will lower electric bills and increase property values.
“˜”˜We will be taking hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide out of the air, replacing fossil fuels,” Brooks said. “˜”˜We’d be taking money that goes out of the town for fossil fuels and circulating that capital in the local area.”
Brooks wants to put his turbines on school property. After presenting the idea to the school committee, he was referred to the board of selectmen.
Selectmen Chairman John Mariano said he wants to make sure he has all the pertinent information before the board takes any action on the proposal.
“˜”˜The concept of having wind turbines certainly is something that the town can investigate,” Mariano said. “˜”˜We certainly need to do our own due diligence as to whether it would make sense for Norwell, and whether it would be better for us to own the project, or to sell the wind.”
Brooks’ ultimate goal would be to put up enough turbines to supply electricity for all the homes in Norwell.
Brooks works as an independent consultant. He is currently working as a contractor with J.P. Sayler and Associates, an Iowa company which sells, installs and maintains wind turbines.
The results of research Brooks has done with the company have convinced him that the town would need six or seven turbines.
Norwell High School, Norwell Middle School, the Cole School, the Vinal School and the Stetson Meadows neighborhood, where Brooks lives, have been identified as possible sites for wind turbines, but Brooks says he would want to open discussion up to the town before locations are made final.
Mariano said the selectmen may choose to form a committee to investigate the concept. While the selectmen aren’t rushing into anything, he said, if there’s an opportunity to save money for the town, he would want to know all he could about it.
Norwell missed an application deadline in August for seeking grant money from the state’s development agency for renewable energy. Since 2001, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has disbursed $206.7 million to communities, companies and individuals to develop renewable energy projects of various kinds.
At least six towns on the South Shore are actively looking at wind energy projects.
Hull, the first town on the South Shore to build a wind turbine, would like to expand its wind energy production. The town’s municipal light department has two turbines in operation and wants to build up to four more about 2 miles offshore.
The new turbines would be similar in appearance and size to Hull Wind II, about 400 feet tall from water level to the top of a blade in upward position.
Public meetings will be scheduled to inform residents of Hingham, Cohasset and Hull about the proposal, which could cost about $30 million.
While Kingston has completed the standard 12-month testing period, during which a tower is erected to measure wind capacity in a proposed area, Town Administrator Kevin Donovan doesn’t expect a turbine to be built before 2008.
Scituate is in the early stages of testing for wind capacity at a site on the Driftway near the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
In Norwell, meanwhile, Brooks said he has private investors lined up and could apply for money through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, but is waiting for town action on his proposal.
“˜”˜It’s just a matter of taking the next step, which is getting the public in the know,” Brooks said. “˜”˜It has so many positive implications, you have a hard time finding people who are against it.”
By Kristen Walsh, The Patriot Ledger
Reach Kristen Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org
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