After months of back-and-forth negotiations, the developer of the Fairhaven wind project has secured the two turbines it needed.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which owns the two turbines, has agreed to sell them to CCI Energy.
“We’re waiting to hear back from them now,” said Nils Bolgen, program manager of MTC’s Clean Energy program. “We’ve given them until Feb. 1.”
James Sweeney, president of CCI Energy, said the company is finalizing the financing and expects to put down a substantial deposit against the turbines soon.
“We don’t see an issue with the financing,” he said.
Neither Mr. Bolgen nor Mr. Sweeney would disclose the exact cost of the turbines.
CCI Energy competed with other projects across the state to win the turbines after the Orleans wind project, for which the turbines were intended originally, fell through last fall.
Now that the turbines are in place, CCI is focusing on the remaining steps to be taken before construction can begin.
CCI has to complete a wetlands delineation survey, which will go to the town’s Conservation Commission for review, according to Michael Gagne, the project’s senior engineer. The project plan also is subject to the Planning Board’s approval.
“There’s no permitting that I know of that’s going to be a problem,” Mr. Sweeney said.
State construction code updates that took effect Jan. 1 will not affect the wind project, according to Mr. Gagne, even though one of the changes was the amount of wind a building must be able to withstand. Under the new code, buildings within a certain distance of the high-tide water mark must be able to handle winds of 110 mph, as previously reported in The Standard-Times.
“The building codes are for the first part of the term: buildings,” he said. “These are not buildings. These are towers.”
Although the exact schedule for construction has not been set, the turbines should be running by summer, according to Mr. Gagne and Mr. Sweeney.
“If everything works well, if all permits are accepted and such, later June, July installation period is very doable,” Mr. Gagne said.
Under the contract CCI Energy signed with the town, the project has to be complete by June 2009, according to Mr. Sweeney.
The wind project was approved by Town Meeting voters in May 2007. The selectmen later voted to sign a 25-year lease with CCI to install the two 397-foot wind turbines.
The energy generated by the turbines will power the town’s water treatment plant, according to Mr. Gagne. Any leftover energy will be sold, potentially to the Fairhaven schools.
By Charis Anderson
Standard-Times staff writer
11 January 2008
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