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Scituate likely to vote on wind energy proposal in the fall  

Officials say the planned installation of a wind turbine at the town’s wastewater treatment plant is the first step toward protecting Scituate against rising energy costs.

Selectmen were enthusiastic about future plans for more turbines after a presentation by Renewable Energy Committee Chairman Bill Limbacher this week.

Limbacher said the feasibility study for the turbine is complete and several items related to the turbine should be ready for a vote at special town meeting in the fall.

The turbine, according to a feasibility study conducted over the last 18 months, will provide enough power to run the wastewater treatment plant about 88 percent of the time. The price of wind power will remain the same, even as other energy costs rise in coming years, he said.

Limbacher said several items in the state’s Energy Bill, now in the Legislature, would simplify the permitting process for towns that want to install turbines.

If the turbine at the wastewater treatment plant produces more energy than needed to power the plant, the extra would go back into the grid, and Scituate would be credited for about the market price of that energy, Limbacher said.

Selectmen Chairman Rick Murray said he would like to see the process move as quickly as possible.

Selectmen said they would like to see plans for additional turbines after the first is up and running.

Limbacher said the committee found the idea of additional turbines “very intriguing,” but said that each additional turbine would need to go through the same 18-month feasibility study process.

Kaitlin Keane

The Patriot Ledger

14 June 2008

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