FAIRHAVEN – The town Wednesday night presented studies that address concerns regarding shadow flicker and noise associated with the proposed Little Bay wind turbines project, but for opponents of the plan, that still wasn’t enough.
“We were not invited to speak at this meeting,” said Ann Ponichtera DeNardis of WindWise Fairhaven, an opposition group. “I think we should have, in fairness, another opportunity.”
Mrs. DeNardis, who raised a $10 bill to show how much each resident would save with the project, said the town’s consultants and project proponents spent two hours pushing their cases, but the people on the “con” side of the argument didn’t have a chance to present their views.
“The Town Meeting will be the ultimate place to hear all those facts,” said Ronald J. Manzone, selectmen chairman.
Special Town Meeting votes on a lease deal that could pave way for the project next Tuesday.
CCI Energy has proposed to erect two 400-foot turbines on town land in Little Bay. The company would sell power to the town wholesale so it can power its water treatment plant. The town could save a minimum of $150,000 a year in lease and electricity costs.
Wednesday night, town wind consultants George Aronson and Barry Sheingold presented the results of a shadow flicker analysis and preliminary sound study for the project.
In the worst-case scenario, they said, a few homes on Timothy Street could get 30 hours a year of flicker, which is considered moderate by the UMass Amherst Renewable Energy Research Lab, which conducted the analysis. Flicker is the shadow caused by the turbines’ blades when they block the sun.
Route 6 and Little Bay would get no flicker.
A study by Tech Environmental found noise effects to be minimal and that they fall well within the local bylaw and state laws, which don’t allow levels to rise 10 decibels above ambient sound.
According to the preliminary study, which is based on New Bedford Airport wind data, no swishing sounds would be heard indoors and will only be slightly audible outdoors at 750 feet, the distance the closest home is to the proposed turbines.
A final study with onsite wind data is expected by Friday.
John Methia, hired by WindWise to produce a documentary available today at www.windwisefairhaven.com about the negative noise and flicker impacts of the Hull turbines, cautioned against the project.
The 30 or so participants also asked pointed questions Wednesday night about various details concerning the project, such as finances and profits for CCI, which consultants said would amount to $80,000 to $160,000 a year.
Others noted that not everyone opposes the wind turbines.
“There are people in this audience that are in favor of the project,” said Ann Richard to applause.
CCI Energy is holding a field trip to Hull Saturday morning for Town Meeting members to view the turbines.
By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer
10 May 2007
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