March 6, 2011

First Wind backs out of turbine plans

by Kevin Flanders, Stonebridge Press & Villager Newspapers,

BRIMFIELD – Members of No Brimfield Wind received news of a major victory last week, as representatives of First Wind, a Boston-based company that had proposed to construct eight to 10 wind turbines on West Mountain along the ridge near Steerage Rock, announced Thursday, March 4, that the company had scrapped its wind plans for Brimfield.

“We have made the decision not to pursue permitting of a wind project in the town of Brimfield,” said John Lamontagne, First Wind’s director of Corporate Communications. “After assessing the meteorological data collected in Brimfield, we have determined that the wind characteristics do not meet our requirements at this time.”

Throughout the process, residents had expressed their concerns since learning about the proposal in June 2010. No Brimfield Wind was formed by a group of residents who wanted to demonstrate their opposition to the proposal.

“We have been saying all along that there isn’t sufficient wind here,” said Virginia Irvine, a member of No Brimfield Wind. “In addition to the lack of wind, I think First Wind realized that there are a lot of people in town who oppose the proposal. They were going to have a real battle trying to change zoning regulations.”

For more on this story, please see tomorrow’s Southbridge Evening News.

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