Duxbury is looking to join the growing list of towns interested in harnessing what nature has to offer to lower energy costs and reserve energy.
The Alternative Energy Committee, comprised of nine members, has spent the better part of a year seeking different ways to help Duxbury conserve energy and lower costs. During Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting, Jeff Warren, speaking on behalf of the committee, presented a proposal and application, to conduct a survey on six sites in Duxbury approved for wind turbines. The application proposed by Warren was to have the six sites surveyed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) to find the best possible site for Duxbury. The six sites proposed had to be on town owned property, and in a relatively high-energy area.
“There are 30,000 sites that could be appropriate for a wind turbine, this is the first step in a long process – we are years away,” Warren said. “We need to start the process to get further before we get behind. There are 46 other towns looking into wind turbine sites. This is a no brainer, it costs nothing, and it gets Duxbury on the board.”
The six sites recommended were the high school, middle school, Chandler Elementary School, site of the new police station off of exit 11 on Route 14, town hall and the transfer station. Selectmen chairman, and liaison to the alternative energy committee, Andre Martecchini said that there were only certain areas that could be considered, aside from municipality they also had to be viable energy producing area.
Selectman Betsy Sullivan suggested the possibility of the senior center and cemetery as a seventh site to be surveyed. Both properties are town owned and produce a lot of energy, she said. The MTC would look at the tree height in the area, amount of energy at the site, the tower height and width, and the cost feasibility Martecchini said. With no financial commitment attached to the survey the selectmen agreed that adding the seventh site would be beneficial for the survey.
Martecchini also said that because the town is not a utility company it would not be eligible to carry power lines under the ground to generate power in other areas. The sites that are more desirable are sites like the schools, which generate a lot of energy and creates the potential to sell back $150,000 in energy costs.
“It costs nothing to get the ball rolling, the electric bill is already paying for this. I hope it is endorsed so we can see things get cleaned-up,” Martecchini said.
Selectmen approved the application unanimously, with the addition of the senior center as the seventh site.
By Andria Farrell, CNC Newspapers
3 May 2007
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