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Bourne wind farm under review

BOURNE – The developers of a proposed seven-turbine wind project in Bournedale made their first presentation to the Cape Cod Commission Monday night in front of a crowd that included both supporters and neighbors with concerns over the proposal.

“We feel that it went very well … and (we) had an opportunity to detail the project and its benefits,” said Greg O’Brien, president of Stony Brook Group of Brewster, which is handling publicity for the project.

New Generation Wind, which is proposing the project, is a joint venture between Panhandle Trust, which controls land in the area, and the Lorusso family, which owns the adjacent Cape Cod Aggregates sand and gravel company.

The project would include six 2.5-megawatt turbines and one 2-megawatt turbine located in the vicinity of a proposed technology park in Bournedale.

During Monday’s meeting, New Generation Wind and members of the Cape Cod Commission detailed the project for about 60 attendees, whose opinions were evenly split on the turbines, said Page Czepiga, a commission regulatory officer who was at the meeting.

Czepiga said members of the Cape Cod Commission’s staff have compiled a report on the project. A final decision will be made by a commission subcommittee.

The report expresses concerns about the turbines’ effect on neighboring homes and raises questions about their impact on wildlife, open space conservation and groundwater.

“The visual impact may be dramatic,” the report states. “And the staff would like to note the potential for noise impacts.”

“I can only believe they’re a concern to many of the residents here,” David Luce, who owns a condominium in the Herring Run complex in Bournedale, said of the turbines in a telephone interview with the Times yesterday.

Some residents who attended the meeting expressed concerns over the potential noise and lighting of the turbines.

The proposed turbines would generate more energy – and possibly be closer to nearby homes – than a 1.65-megawatt turbine located on town land in Falmouth.

Some residents near the Falmouth turbine have expressed concerns over the noise it makes, the commission staff report states.

Legitimate concerns have been raised, O’Brien said yesterday, but New Generation Wind plans on answering them throughout the permitting process.

“We fully understand that neighbors have questions,” he said. “We want to work closely with neighbors and meet with them as many times as possible.”

New Generation Wind is also working to mitigate another large concern expressed in the commission staff report regarding the proposed use of petroleum-based lubricants, classified as hazardous-waste materials, on the turbines, said John Lipman, a consultant on the turbine project and former deputy director and chief planner for the Cape Cod Commission.

The proposed turbines would be located in an area that has been designated as a possible water source, and the amount of lubricants that would be needed for the wind farm exceeds the level that can be stored on the property, Lipman said. He added that there are several options to address the lubricant issue and other potential roadblocks.

O’Brien said the developers believe they will be able to comply with all the requirements and changes the county land-use agency imposes.

“We are confident in the end that we will be able to meet the regulations … and fully answer all their questions,” he said of the Cape Cod Commission.

If the commission signs off on the proposed turbines, the project will still need the approval of several town boards.

The next public hearing of the Cape Cod Commission subcommittee that is reviewing the project is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Assembly of Delegates chamber at Barnstable District Courthouse, Czepiga said.