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Slow pace set for turbine review

BARNSTABLE – What was supposed to be opening deliberations Wednesday about a seven-turbine proposal for Bournedale turned into another chance for a Cape Cod Commission subcommittee to request more information.

New Generation Wind, a partnership between the Panhandle Trust and Cape Cod Aggregates owner the Lorusso family, proposes to build six 2.5-kilowatt turbines and one two-kilowatt turbine in the area of a proposed Bournedale technology park. [correction: Because of a reporting error, a story on Page A4 of Thursday’s Times incorrectly stated the energy output of the turbines proposed for the New Generation Wind project in Bournedale. The proposal is to build six 2.5-megawatt turbines and one 2-megawatt turbine. -Cape Cod Times]

Proponents say the project will inject $200,000 in taxes annually into the town and reduce the area’s dependence on fossil fuels. Detractors – including abutting homeowners and the Bourne Board of Selectmen, which voted in October not to support New Generation – think it could negatively impact property values, abutters’ health and the environment.

Three of the subcommittee’s four members met for more than two hours in the Cape Cod Community College auditorium to hear a rehash of the project and receive a few clarifications from backers.

Subcommittee Chairman John Harris and members Royden Richardson and Michael Blanton were particularly concerned about the project’s impact on the environment, Bournedale as a scenic destination and the project’s use of hazardous materials including petroleum lubricants for the turbines.

But they decided to wait to make any decisions until after March 2, when the record closes on the commission’s review.

The subcommittee’s final recommendations will be forwarded to the commission.

The group has already received hours of testimony via three public hearings and hundreds of documents.

That amount of information means “it’s going to take more than one subcommittee meeting before they feel comfortable enough to make a recommendation,” commission regulatory officer Page Czepiga said in an interview Wednesday.

The dates of future subcommittee deliberations will be announced soon, she said.