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Fairhaven selectmen OK lease for wind turbines

Selectmen on Monday night voted to sign a 25-year lease with a private developer to install two 396-foot wind turbines on Little Bay.

A final signature on the 22-page lease agreement is contingent on a formal site plan for the project to be submitted by developer CCI Energy.

“It’s time to move this lease forward,” said Selectman Michael Silvia. “It’s time to follow the Town Meeting’s wishes.”

Selectmen voted on the issue after meeting for about 20 minutes in executive session with Town Counsel Thomas Crotty.

Last May, a controversial Town Meeting voted to give the Board of Selectmen the authority to sign a lease with CCI for the installation of the two Vestas V82 1.6-megawatt wind turbines on town-owned land.

Several town boards, including the Conservation Commission, still must approve CCI’s plans before the company can start construction on the roughly $7 million project.

CCI proposes to install the two turbines on town property near the Arsene Street water-treatment plant and to sell part of the electricity produced there to the town.

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

CCI was expecting to start construction on the project this fall, but it is still unclear whether it can secure two turbines through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

James Sweeney of CCI Energy said his company could purchase similar turbines directly from the manufacturer at an additional premium if it can secure the MTC turbines.

By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer


31 July 2007