A proposal to build a wind turbine at the Riverhead Sewer District headquarters got rave reviews from most of the speakers at a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Board Tuesday night.
The proposed 750 kw wind turbine would cost a maximum of $1.8 million to construct but the energy it generates for the sewer plant would pay off that cost within 11 years and would generate $5 million in savings after 25 years, according to consultant Peter Rusy of DHL Power.
The turbine would be 275 high when its blade is at its highest, but would probably not be noticeable to Riverside Drive neighbors because of the trees, he said. It also would generate less than 50 decibels of noice, Mr. Rusy said, putting it in compliance with the town’s noise law.
Supervisor Sean Walter said the town met with LIPA officials earlier in the day Tuesday and learned that new regulations will allow the town to sell energy back to LIPA should the turbine go online. This, he said, would cut the projected cost to taxpayers in half, from 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 25 cents per $1,000 in the first year, a number would amount to $12.50 for the first year.
By the seventh year, it would be turning a profit and wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything, Mr. Rusy said.
Several speakers praised the proposal, saying the town is leading the way in moving toward alternative energy sources.
Daniel Karpen, an engineer from Huntington, suggested the town build a wind turbine farm at EPCAL and use the energy it would generate to power the entire town.
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