The wind turbine generator study committee has identified three sites in different parts of town as potential sites for a wind turbine.
The three sites under consideration for renewable wind energy are the main wastewater treatment facility on Driebeck Way in Brant Rock, the capped landfill off Clay Pit Road and at the site of a new water storage tank off Eames Way. One of the schools may also be named as a possible site after further study.
In order for committee members to get a close look at actual wind turbines, they plan to visit the town of Hull’s municipal light plant turbine sites tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 18) at 1:30 p.m., and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s wind turbine in Buzzards Bay at 1:30 p.m. the next day (Friday, Jan. 19).
“They want to be able to observe them and see how they operate,” said David Carriere, an engineer with the Department of Public Works who serves on the study committee. “There’s nothing like getting a close look at the auditory and visual impact.”
Residents interested in joining committee members on the site visits are encouraged to call Carriere at 781-834-5589 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents can meet committee members at each site.
Carriere said two of the main concerns expressed by residents at committee meetings are the visual impact of a wind turbine and the sound produced by the turbines. Safety is another concern.
At least 200 Brant Rock residents have signed a petition in opposition to a wind turbine in their neighborhood to power the wastewater facility, and many made their opinions known during a Nov. 30 study committee meeting. The committee has met five times.
Carriere said he’s not sure when, but the study committee will make a recommendation on a site to the Board of Selectmen in the near future. If selectmen give their approval, the town will contact the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative about setting up a test tower at the site. The cost to the town would be $5,000, with the MTC contributing $40,000. The deadline for submissions is Feb 28.
The MTC works in association with the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory at UMass-Amherst to collect scientific data to determine whether wind-fueled turbines are feasible to produce electricity.
A meteorological tower would be used to collect the wind data for six months to a year. An economic analysis would also be completed.
The wastewater facility on Driebeck Way was the only potential site presented to selectmen in July 2006. At that time, DPW officials proposed a 260-foot wind turbine. The study committee was formed to investigate other possible sites.
Carriere said the other two sites under consideration are scattered around town so committee members can get a general idea of the wind power in town.
“The other sites we chose because the town owns the property or is in the process of buying the property and are in locations that seem to have good wind,” Carriere said.
By Kathryn Koch
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