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Wind turbine plan heads to selectmen  

CCI Energy is proposing to erect two commercial Vestas V82, 1.65-megawatt wind turbines on town property near Sconticut Neck.

The company said it is ready to submit the final project plan and financing details to the Board of Selectmen either later this month or in January.

“We are presenting the town a letter stating we are prepared to move forward,” said James Sweeney of CCI in an e-mail message.

He said financing details for the $7 million project will be presented as part of the final package.

In October, selectmen gave CCI a conditional OK to erect the turbines on town land adjacent to the water-treatment facility off Arsene Street, which abuts Little Bay.

A project plan was expected by the end of the year.

The proposal calls for two Vestas V82 turbines, each tower measuring 262 feet to the hub. Each rotor is 269 feet in diameter.

The towers would produce electricity for the commercial grid and help power the water treatment plant.

CCI has estimated the towers could save the town at least $50,000 per year. Powering the facility costs about $360,000 a year.

The town would also earn revenue from leasing the land.

Earlier plans called for four, larger turbines that promised even larger savings.

CCI is proposing the smaller turbines because they are the only ones readily available and will enable the company to benefit from federal renewable energy tax credits that expire at the end of 2007, Mr. Sweeney said.

After selectmen receive the plan, it will have to undergo a full review by town boards and the town’s wind consultants. Town Meeting also must approve leasing the town land before the project can proceed.

If all approvals are given, the turbines could be up after next summer. That would put Fairhaven in the lead of wind power production in SouthCoast.

The cooperative wind energy partnership between a private developer and a town is the first of its kind in the area. CCI and its affiliate Community Wind Power are also pursuing agreements in Plymouth, Cohasset and other communities on Cape Cod.

The Board of Selectmen met with CCI in executive session for months over the proposal.

The town put the development of wind power at the water-treatment facility plant off Arsene Street out to bid in the summer. ECO Industries LLC, a wholly owned affiliate of Jay Cashman Inc., also submitted a bid at the time.

Two years ago, Town Meeting passed a zoning bylaw that allows wind turbines and gives the Planning Board the authority to grant permits and sets minimum requirements for them.

Since then, the town, which has been exploring wind power for the last decade, started to strongly pursue the idea of leasing land at the water-treatment plant to a private contractor with assistance from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

By Joao Ferreira, Standard-Times staff writer
jferreira@s-t.com

southcoasttoday.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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