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State foots $114,000 bill for wind study  

FAIRHAVEN – While an agreement for the construction of two wind turbines in town is yet to be finalized, the state is paying for one more study required by the project.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is providing $114,000 for an electrical interconnection study of the Fairhaven project, said Sen. Mark C.W. Montigny, D-New Bedford, on Tuesday.

The study will determine how to connect the two 1.65-megawatt turbines to the waste-water treatment plant off Arsene Street, Town Secretary Jeffrey W. Osuch said.

The MTC will hire a consultant to conduct the study, provide technical support contracting and construction oversight.

A controversial Town Meeting on May 15 voted to allow the town’s Board of Selectmen to enter into a 25-year lease with private developer CCI Energy for the installation of two 396-foot wind turbines on town-owned land near Little Bay.

Mr. Osuch said Tuesday the town and CCI intend to sign a final agreement by the end of July. The more than 30-page agreement is still undergoing several revisions that were expected to be finalized soon, Mr. Osuch said.

Under the agreement, the town would lease land on Little Bay to CCI to install the $7 million turbines. CCI still needs to clear all the local, state and federal permitting hurdles before it can assemble the turbines.

The company plans to sell part of the electricity produced by the turbines to the town at wholesale price to help power the water treatment plant. The town stands to save at least $50,000 year in electricity costs and receive $100,000 a year in royalties and taxes.

If erected, the turbines would be the largest wind operation in the state.

“Combating global warming is one of the biggest issues facing our society. The steps we take today to combat excessive dependence on fossil fuels will have tremendous environmental implications for many generations to come,” Sen. Montigny said.

Sen. Montigny also announced that the MTC will reserve $3.7 million for the purchase of renewable energy certificates from CCI for power produced. The certificates serve as a cash-flow incentive for small wind-project developers.

The value of the energy certificates purchase had been previously discussed at several community meetings regarding the project.

By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer

southcoasttoday.com

4 July 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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