BREWSTER – The town will hold a public hearing tonight on placing two 1.8-megawatt turbines – 410 feet high to the topmost blade tip – on town land in an industrial park off Freeman’s Way.
The hearing is at 7 p.m. in the lower level meeting room of town hall. Comments will be taken in order, with abutters first, residents next and nonresidents after that. All comments will be subject to time limits.
The Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, which includes 18 towns on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard, would pay the $10 million to buy and install the turbines, and would own and operate them for 20 years.
Cooperative officials estimate that over a 15-year period the town will save $2.1 million in utility costs with the twin turbines providing power to all municipal buildings. The town also would get $1.5 million in payments for leasing the industrial park land to the cooperative.
Construction could begin as early as September 2011, with the first power being generated the following September.
The closest residences would be 1,800 feet from one of the turbines and 2,400 from the other.
According to sound studies done by consultants for the Brewster project, the home located 1,800 feet away would have increased noise from the turbine of between one and four decibels above normal background levels. State and town law allows no more than a 10-decibel increase. Twenty decibels is the sound made by leaves rustling; 40 is the noise level in a quiet library.
Abutters in other towns debating wind turbine proposals have expressed concern over the effects of the flickering shadow created by the rotating blades when they are backlit by the sun.
Consultants calculated that shadow flicker at three different sites would occur for 6.5 minutes per day in the most extreme case and 3.5 minutes per day in the least.
Town officials believe they can simply stop the blades from turning during those time periods when the sun is positioned to create that effect.
The town already has two cell towers at 262 and 309 feet high.
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