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Fairhaven wind project critics to fund noise study  

While the developer that wants to erect two wind turbines on town land is offering free bus trips to see operating turbines in Hull, members of the WindWise Fairhaven group questioning the project say they are paying for a noise study.

WindWise member Kenneth Pottell made the revelation last night as the Board of Selectmen discussed the issue in the wake of a wind power forum last week.

“It’s really important that the town does it right,” Mr. Pottell said. “We’re not asking for something other towns haven’t done.”

Mr. Pottell said his group is talking with five independent private contractors about doing the noise study, which he said would cost about $1,000.

Last night town Executive Secretary Jeffrey W. Osuch read a letter from Nils Bolgen of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the agency pushing for the development of wind power, reiterating that the noise issue has been addressed on a previous study of the Fairhaven project.

The study determined that noise wouldn’t be an issue with the project.

Mr. Pottell said that study isn’t specific enough.

While other studies recommend a 1,200-foot buffer for the kind of turbines being proposed, the town’s bylaw that regulates the erection of wind turbines only requires a 400-foot buffer. The bylaw also states that wind turbine noise level cannot be higher than 60 decibels at the property line. The nearest home to the wind turbines would be 750 feet.

Meanwhile, developer CCI Energy is offering to pay for bus transportation for residents interested in visiting Hull to see and hear two wind turbines in operation.

CCI is proposing to erect two 400-foot wind turbines on leased town property that would help power the water treatment plant. The towers would power several town buildings, including the treatment plant, at a discount rate.

The town is expected to save at least $50,000 in electricity costs and make an additional $100,000 revenues from lease, taxes and royalties per year.

But WindWise has raised doubts about the project at the time CCI seeks a special Town Meeting in May to approve the lease deal with the town.

Selectmen last night didn’t request an article to be placed on the warrant.

“We should be making some sort of decisions on this in the very near future,” said Ronald J. Manzone, the new chairman of the board.

The board meets again April 23.

By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer


10 April 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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