The school complex on Forest Street holds the greatest potential as a potential site for a wind turbine, according to members of the Wind Turbine Generator Study Committee.
School officials have yet to weigh in with their thoughts on the proposed site, but that is expected to change Feb. 28, when study committee members meet with school administrators.
David Carriere, the assistant town engineer who represents the Department of Public Works on the committee, updated selectmen Monday night on possible sites for a wind turbine, based in part on economic payback potential. He said the school complex site was the clear-cut winner based on assumptions about the economics of the location, including electric billing information.
Carriere said it may not be necessary to build a meteorological tower at the chosen site to collect the wind data, as other communities have done, in response to questions about the next step in the development of a wind turbine plan.
“I believe there is enough inherent wind data to triangulate around that,” he said, adding that alternatives such as an ultrasonic signal or a laser could also be used to collect data. “There are ways around “¦ erecting a wind tower.”
In addition to three previously identified sites – the wastewater treatment plant in Brant Rock, the capped landfill off Clay Pit Road and the site of a new water storage tank off Eames Way – the school complex and Rexhame Beach parking lot are on the list for consideration.
Study committee members made site visits to Hull to see the wind turbines in that town and the potential sites in Marshfield. Brant Rock residents have reacted negatively to the possibility of a wind turbine at the treatment plant.
Carriere said the study committee would meet with selectmen again in the near future to recommend if and where a wind turbine should be located and to provide information about funding alternatives. Committee member Phil Cincotti said educating the public about the benefits of wind energy and improvements in the technology will be an important part of the process.
Selectmen chairman Michael Maresco said study committee members need to be conscious of how residents feel about each of the proposed sites, but said he supports their efforts to try to save the town money and help the environment with a green project.
“Al Gore, if he were here, would be very happy,” Maresco said.
By Kathryn Koch
27 February 2007
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