Contractor Jay Cashman has applied for a building permit to build the city’s first wind turbine on his land at the Fore River shipyard – hoping to generate energy to sell to nearby businesses.
The turbine would be 389 feet tall, from its base to the highest tip of the blade. It would be 61 feet taller than Hull Wind 2, which generates more power than Cashman’s windmill would.
Cashman wants to sell some of the power that’s produced to other businesses in the shipyard and to use some of the power for his own manufacturing at the site. That could include building other turbines, as his company’s renewable energy subsidiary is working on a proposal for a 120-turbine wind farm in Buzzards Bay.
‘‘The wind here is low commercial grade wind. But we’re committed to the wind business, so this is kind of, ‘Put your money where your mouth is,’’’ Cashman said. ‘‘If you’re not powering your own facility with wind power, you’re not buying into the concept.’’
Cashman said his company is in the process of obtaining a permit with the Federal Aviation Administration to erect the turbine in Quincy. It would be located about 500 feet from the Harbor Express dock, according to documents.
But while a building permit, which Cashman applied for on Aug. 9, is a logical next step, the project is far from a done deal.
Since this is the first wind turbine proposed in the city, there are no bylaws to govern its construction.
Ward 2 City Councilor Daniel Raymondi, whose ward includes Quincy Point, caught wind of Cashman’s plans and submitted a proposal for a wind turbine ordinance to the city council. The ordinance would require a special zoning permit from the city’s planning board for any wind turbine expected to produce more than 60 kilowatts; Cashman’s plan is for a 1,500-kilowatt turbine.
The first planning board hearing on the proposal is set for 7:20 p.m. today at city hall.
Cashman said he thinks Raymondi’s proposed ordinance is good, although he would suggest a few changes.
Raymondi said he is not wedded to his plan, but wanted to get some language in place to preserve the community’s rights.
‘‘By putting this document in, it provides the city government and the public an opportunity to come up with the best possible ordinance we can put together, knowing this technology is obviously knocking on Quincy’s door,’’ Raymondi said.
In addition to the hearing on the zoning proposal, the first community meeting regarding Cashman’s proposal will be held tonight at 7 at the Ward 2 Community Center on Nevada Road, with another slated for 7 p.m. at the Community Center on Sept. 27.
‘‘We’re holding this meeting to see which way the wind blows – pardon the pun,’’ Cashman said.
Local officials aren’t judging the plan yet.
‘‘The Phelan administration strongly supports renewable energy, but we want to make sure that support is balanced with the support of the community relative to the location of these facilities,’’ said Dave Murphy, spokesman for Mayor William Phelan.
The Quincy Point Business Association will meet to discuss the proposal in October, said Tom O’Brien, the group’s president and the owner of Tom O’Brien Hyundai.
The proposal could affect the proposed mixed-use redevelopment proposal for the shipyard by Daniel Quirk. John Dobie, Quirk’s manager at the shipyard, said they plan to attend tonight’s meeting with an ‘‘open mind.’’
‘‘I don’t know much about wind turbines,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously, saving energy is a positive thing.’’
Cashman’s proposal comes on top of other wind power possibilities Quincy is already exploring.
The city is testing two sites for wind turbines at Quarry Hills and on Sea Street near the police station. It should have the results of those studies within the next few months, Murphy said.
Quincy wind turbine
3.5 million kilowatts – estimated annual production of the turbine – enough to power 500 to 700 homes
$3.5 million – estimated cost
253 feet – diameter of rotor blades
10 to 20 – revolutions per minute, speed of blades
Source: Proposal by contractor Jay Cashman
Heights of comparison
70 feet – Scituate Light
305 feet – statue of Liberty
328 feet – Base to top of blade of Hull Wind 2
389 feet – Proposed Quincy wind turbine
555 feet – Washington Monument
750 feet – Prudential Center
Stay in the loop
Several public meetings are scheduled to discuss the wind proposal:
—Tonight at 7: Community meeting at Ward 2 Community Center, 16 Nevada Road.
— Tonight at 7:20: Planning board meeting on proposed wind turbine ordinance at Quincy City Hall, 1305 Hancock St.
—Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: Community meeting at the Ward 2 Community Center.
What do you think of a wind turbine at the former Fore River shipyard?
Write: Your Views, The Patriot Ledger, 400 Crown Colony Drive, Quincy, MA 02169
Please include your address and telephone number
By DIANA SCHOBERG
The Patriot Ledger
Diana Schoberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
September 12, 2007
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