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Turbulence ahead for wind turbine  

FAIRHAVEN – The town might not get the two wind turbines available through a state agency, and developer CCI Energy might be forced to pay an additional premium for two other units.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is giving preference to the town of Orleans for the turbines it holds in storage.

That town is pursuing its own wind project through a private developer.

“The town of Orleans is poised to issue a request for proposals next month for its wind project and has asked that we make the MTC turbines available for consideration as part of that process,” said Christopher Kealey, a spokesman with MTC.

“We have agreed to this, and look forward to learning the results of the competitive process in Orleans.”

Orleans has been pursuing a wind project several years.

As is the case with Fairhaven, the town plans to lease land to a private developer to build two turbines that would help power its water treatment plant.

While Fairhaven is further ahead in the process, Orleans had a previous agreement with MTC for the turbines.

CCI, the Fairhaven project developer, said it still can meet its commitment to Fairhaven to have the turbines operating by next year, but at an additional expense.

James Sweeney, CCI principal, said turbine builder Vestas has two V82 1.6-megawatt units available for Fairhaven.

“Because of the high demand for wind turbines and the higher exchange rate it will cost over $700,000 more for the same model turbines presently in stock by the MTC,” he said.

CCI has said that installing the Fairhaven turbines will cost about $7 million.

That price tag could increase by $700,000 if the company cannot get access to the MTC-owned turbines.

CCI and the town intend to sign a final agreement for installation of the two 396-foot turbines on town-owned land on Little Bay by the end of July.

The more than 30-page agreement is still undergoing several revisions that are expected to be finalized soon.

A controversial Town Meeting on May 15 voted to allow the selectmen to enter into a 25-year lease with private developer CCI Energy for installation of the turbines.

Under the agreement, the town would lease land on Little Bay to CCI to install the $7 million turbines.

CCI still has 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 to help power the water treatment plant.

The town stands to save at least $50,000 a year in electricity costs and receive $100,000 a year in royalties and taxes.

By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer

southcoasttoday.com

9 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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