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Plymouth developer gets OK for wind towers in Fairhaven  

After three years of meetings, tests and studies, a pair of wind towers slated to be built on land in Fairhaven were approved at Town Meeting.

But it’s not over yet.

Plymouth renewable energy project developer James Sweeney, of CCI Energy, said there is still much to do to get the blades spinning.

“The next step is to the remaining permitting, electrical, state requirements, surveying the land, soil testing,” Sweeney said. “We’re hoping to have them running before the end of 2007.”

The towers themselves will be 262 feet in height. But add the 270-foot-diameter rotors and the power generator tops off at 397 feet. Sweeney, who is also eyeing sites in Plymouth, Cohasset and New Bedford, said each of the Vesta V82 Turbines will be able to generate enough power for 825 homes, or 1.65 megawatts. The Fairhaven site is 10 acres in size.

Fairhaven officials will be able to purchase power at a nearly 50 percent discount, for its wastewater treatment plant, which sits near the turbine site. Combined with the $100,000 a year it will receive from Sweeney in taxes and lease payments, the town can look forward to almost $4 million over the next 20 years.

“This is for a piece of land that’s given them nothing,” Sweeney said.

The parcel the turbines will one day occupy was chosen after a lengthy wind monitoring process, which determined that, while the site was not the best around, it was suitable for the towers. The town put out a proposal, and Sweeney’s company submitted a bid. One other company, the Cashman Group of Quincy, also bid on the project.

Over the past 30 years, CCI Energy has been involved in a multitude of renewable energy projects. The company designed the co-generation system at Jordan Hospital and Wellesley College. A former member of Plymouth’s Energy Committee, Sweeney resigned so he could promote his energy projects without a conflict of interest. He is also a member of the Plymouth Finance Committee and Sustainable Plymouth.

During the Fairhaven bid process, Sweeney said he ran into some resistance from Fairhaven Wind Wise, a group opposed to the location of the towers. In addition to information presented at local meetings, Sweeney organized trips to the wind turbines in Hull to show people what the final product would look like.

“Once this is installed, they’re going to find it’s not bad to look at,” Sweeney said. “People in Hull think it’s a great thing.”

By Max Bowen, CNC Newspapers

Old Colony Memorial

26 June 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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