The construction company seeking to build a massive offshore wind turbine on Buzzards Bay has proposed a 386-foot-tall wind power generator for the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.
Jay Cashman Inc. wants to build the wind power turbine on its 27-acre shipyard property, a couple of hundred yards from the water’s edge. The area now houses the company’s headquarters and provides storage for Cashman’s rental division, Sterling Inc.
The power generated by the turbine would be used by the company itself and also sold to the power grid.
A Cashman spokesman said the company intends to complete the turbine sometime next year.
The turbine would be the third sizable one on the South Shore, following two municipal windmills in Hull.
The proposal to build a single wind power generator in Quincy is in line with the company’s interest in the commercial development of wind power, a company official said.
“We want to practice what we preach,” said Todd Presson, director of wind energy development for Cashman. “We’re doing some energy audits for our facility and trying to use more renewable energy. And we have some wind energy project proposals.”
The proposed tower, slightly taller than the second, larger Hull windmill built last year, would produce 3.5 million kilowatt hours per year.
The proposal comes after wind measurement tests showed an average wind velocity of 6.3 meters per second (around 14 miles per hour). That is close to the threshold of 6.5 meters per second that the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state’s wind power development agency, says is needed to make a turbine viable.
The company is relying on the studies performed for the city of Quincy at its public works building and by a nearby company.
Cashman sent out letters this week to area residents informing them of the plan and inviting them to meetings about it. The first was scheduled to be held last night and the second on Sept. 27 at the Fore River Clubhouse, at 16 Nevada Road.
The project would require a permit from the city and from the Federal Aviation Administration because of its height. It would be situated near another tall structure, the towering construction crane (nicknamed “Goliath”) that remains on the shipyard site from its glory days as a shipbuilder.
The wind turbine would not require a state permit, Presson said, because there are no wetlands or environmental issues.
Cashman, a multifaceted construction company involved in numerous regional projects from the Boston Convention Center to the Wollaston sea wall, is undergoing a lengthy state-mandated environmental review of its offshore wind power proposal for up to 100 turbines in Buzzards Bay. Currently the company is studying whether the project would pose a hazard to birds, especially the endangered roseate tern.
The shipyard turbine would be built in the center of the company’s property on the Fore River Shipyard. Cashman has a 200,000-square-foot building on the property and employs about 200 workers there.
By Robert Knox
13 September 2007
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