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Dennis wind turbine OK’d

DENNIS – A town historical committee last night approved an aquaculture company’s plan to install a wind turbine on its property near Chapin Memorial Beach.

The Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District Committee of Dennis approved the turbine plan for the Aquaculture Research Corp in a 3-2 vote. But the panel included several stipulations in approving the project, including that the turbine must be kept in working order and the company must consider less intrusive options if they become available before installation of the turbine starts.

The 600-kilowatt single turbine would be installed on the company’s 39 acres of beachfront property at 99 Chapin Beach Road. The turbine would be used to power the business’ shellfish hatchery.

The turbine would have a 164-foot tower, reaching 242 feet at the height of its top blade.

Historic district committee members differed over whether the height of the turbine would allow it to blend in visually with the area.

Panel member Bill Bohlin called the visual impact “negligible,” while chairman Peter Lomenzo said he felt it was too high for the area.

Several committee members visited the proposed turbine site last week.

Before the project can move forward, the company also needs to get approval next month from the historic district committee to demolish three huts on the proposed site of the turbine. Then the company will need to get a building permit.

Company officials said the savings in energy costs from the turbine would be used to improve the shellfish hatchery facility.

Richard Kraus, president of the company, said the turbine could be up and running next year.

“As soon as we have all of our approvals, we’ll order our turbine,” he said.