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Town officials to decide where turbine would be built  

HANOVER – They could put the town’s first wind turbine behind the middle school or at the water treatment plant.

Or they could put one in both.

Suddenly bursting with new wind energy options, Hanover must now decide how much green power it can handle.

It is the latest example of a boom in interest in wind power in South Shore towns. Hull has two large turbines providing power, and at least six coastal towns are considering wind as a clean option for producing electricity.

Six sites are under consideration in Hanover, where town officials hope to build a wind turbine capable of powering some municipal buildings.

Selectmen may take one, or possibly two, wind power proposals to town meeting in May, said Selectmen Chairman Alan Rugman.

Similar ideas are being explored in Braintree, Norwell and every coastal town from Weymouth to Plymouth.

Hanover may start construction sooner than some towns.

Hanover would not need to build data collection towers at any of its potential wind power sites, Rugman said, because there are enough wind data already available from other sources.

Skipping that step saves Hanover about a year, he said.

The town must first decide what, and where, to build.

With money from a Massachusetts Technology Council grant, the town hired Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., of Ontario, N.Y., to provide a preliminary analysis of the sites.

In a letter to Town Administrator Stephen Rollins, the company last week recommended the town build a wind turbine alongside one of its water utilities, either at the treatment plant on Rockland Street or at its well fields on Riverside Drive and on Broadway.

An alternative would be building a turbine to power a school building. Sustainable Energy said a turbine to power a school would cost about $2.1 million and be eligible for $500,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Technology Council. A turbine that powers a water utility would cost $401,000 and be eligible for $225,000 in grants, according to the letter.

Rugman said he supports the less expensive proposal and the town could consider a school project in the future.

By Andrew Lightman
The Patriot Ledger

ledger.southofboston.com

14 February 2007

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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