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Cohasset wind-turbine proposal awaits board vote  

Credit:  GateHouse News Service, www.patriotledger.com 6 January 2011 ~~

COHASSET – The hearings are over and now it’s up to the planning board to decide a 410-foot wind turbine will be built on Turkey Hill in Cohasset.

The proposal for the 1.8-megawatt turbine has drawn opposition from some Hingham residents who live near the site.

The planning board could vote on the matter at its meeting next week. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at town hall.

The Trustees of Reservations organization is seeking a special permit from the planning board. The site for the $6 million project is within a 847-acre expanse of conservation land known as Whitney and Thayer Woods.

State grants, federal tax credits and investment money, both public and private, would be used to pay for the project.

Steve Sloan, regional director and project manager for the Trustees of Reservations, said the turbine would have minimal impact on people who live nearby.

“Most of the people who have expressed concern are a half-mile away,” Sloan said. “Noise will not be noticeable. We feel it’s a strong proposal because it’s such a remote site. Aesthetically, the hill has cell (phone) towers already.”

Sloan said Trustees group is confident that the special permit will be granted.

“We want them (planning board members) to take their time and deliberate,” he said.

The project would benefit the town by generating tax revenue.

The Trustees of Reservations used a $45,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to study the feasibility of building the turbine on Turkey Hill. A $260,000 grant from the Clean Energy Center would be used to pay for design and construction.

The Clean Energy Center awards grants for conservation and renewable-energy projects. The money comes from electric-bill payments made by customers.

The Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit organization, has created a separate company, Conservation Wind, LP, to pay taxes associated with the Turkey Hill turbine project.

If all needed approvals are obtained, the turbine could be generating power as early as the end of this year.

Source:  GateHouse News Service, www.patriotledger.com 6 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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