Fairhaven is again targeted to receive the two 400-foot industrial turbines that after careful study Orleans has rejected. Stored in a Texas warehouse, these older turbines are back in Fairhaven’s lap because no one else wants them. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative spent $5.3 million to purchase them, so it is understandable that they are anxious to dispose of them.
I am confused about some of the details of this project. Last year we were told Gordon Deane of Palmer Capital was the investor. Now we are told, according to Selectman Brian Bowcock, that Jay Cashman was a partner and withdrew in November. Never was this information revealed before. It is also revealed that there are new investors but we cannot be told who they are.
Another matter undisclosed is the price MTC is selling the turbines for. Why all these hidden agendas? Are they worried that the investors will find out there is opposition in town? What else is involved with this deal-making that we are not privy to?
There are so many discrepancies. Dr. Bowcock states that 2,000 trees will not be cut down because of existing roads, while Executive Secretary Jeff Osuch told me that they may need to make another access road and that the present access roads may need to be widened to accommodate making the turns to bring the turbines in. This does not take into consideration the land cleared for the two huge bases of the turbines.
Dr. Bowcock states that “it’s hard to see from the (Little Bay) bike path and trees will obscure the view (of the turbines).” I have difficulty understanding this fact since the towers would be similar in size to two Statues of Liberty. Other significant details have not been discussed. What about the red and white obstruction lights on turbines? How will they be seen at night?
Nothing has changed. The location of these turbines is still a bad idea for many reasons such as shadow flicker, visual pollution, harm to birds, lowering of property values and especially the noise. Now add to the list one of Orleans’ concerns that these towers will not withstand the new hurricane regulations.
In short, this project will have a profound negative affect on Little Bay, the surrounding neighborhoods and to the town of Fairhaven. It does not need to happen. This project can still be stopped.
By Joyce Pottel
Ms. Pottel lives in Fairhaven.
30 January 2008
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