The Riverhead Sewer District’s plan to erect a 275-foot high, 750 kilowatt wind turbine at its plant off Riverside Drive was mostly applauded at a public hearing last night as making sense both financially and environmentally.
But when a Riverside Drive resident, Pamela Hogrefe, expressed concerns about the noise the wind turbine would make, Walter promised that a noise study would be conducted even though not required by the state’s Environmental Quality Review Act, known as SEQRA.
Peter Rusy of the Neutral Group, the consulting group working with the sewer district on the project, said that the wind turbine, expected to cost about $1.8 million, would end up saving residents in the sewer district an estimated $5 million in electricity costs during the life of the turbine, which he said was 25 years.
To support the bond that would finance the project, he said residents of the sewer district would face a 25 cent increase in their taxes per every $1,000 of assessed value, followed by a 21 cent increase per every $1,000 of assessed value during the first and second years after the bond was issued.
The increases, he said, would be needed to support the $181,000 to service the bond in the early years. By the seventh year, however, he said the project would begin to result in a significant reduction in taxes attributable to energy use.
One speaker at the hearing – Daniel Karpen of Huntington Station, who said he has been doing energy conservation engineering for 30 years – suggested that the town board go further and consider creating an wind-energy park at the town’s Enterprise Park at Calverton.
He suggested erecting three 3-megawatt turbines on the property, which, once paid for, could provide Riverhead resident with power at a quarter of the price they’re spending for electricity now.
He said the “an environmentally correct” wind energy park would also have the benefit of fending off what he called “the usual complaints” from residents whenever a major residential or commercial undertaking in proposed, thus avoiding the syndrome he described as “Banana” – an acronym for “build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.”
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