Marshfield officials hope to study the wind-power potential of four sites in town.
The wind turbine study committee plans to apply to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for a study grant within 60 days. Grants of up to $40,000 are available, and the town could get word on its request as early as July.
The four potential turbine sites to be assessed are the wastewater treatment plant in Brant Rock, the capped landfill off Clay Pit Road, the water storage tank on Carolina Hill and the school complex on Forest Street. The turbine study committee is no longer considering the Rexhame Beach parking lot.
Which spot, if any, winds up being chosen will depend on community acceptance, the amount of wind and how able the town would be to use the turbine-generated energy, said committee member David Carriere, a public works department engineer.
If the grant request is approved, wind data would probably be collected at each site for about a year. During that time, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative would educate residents of each of the four areas about wind-generated power.
Selectmen asked committee member Julie Forsyth, who represents the Brant Rock Village Association, to set up a forum in her area, where residents have already expressed concerns.
Carriere said the town may also look into the availability of private funding and the creation of a cooperative with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.
The town might have to spend about $1 million on building a wind turbine to get about $600,000 or $700,000 in state subsidies, but it could make up the difference in seven to 12 years, depending on the site chosen, Carriere said.
Braintree, Cohasset, Hanover, Kingston, Milton, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Scituate, Quincy and Weymouth are among the other South Shore communities exploring the use of wind energy. Hull has two turbines and wants to add at least four.
Building a turbine in Marshfield has been under consideration since 2003, when the wastewater treatment plant staff made the suggestion.
Selectmen appointed the six-member study committee last fall. It includes representatives of the public works and planning boards.
On Monday, selectmen gave the committee the go-ahead to seek funding for the project.
“˜”˜The next step will be to firm up our application … and then get in line,” Carriere said.
By Sydney Schwartz
The Patriot Ledger
11 May 2007
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