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Quincy to host second public meeting about Moon Island wind turbine  

Credit:  By Jessica Bartlett, Town Correspondent, www.boston.com 8 March 2011 ~~

Quincy officials this Thursday will meet with residents a second time about a proposed 400-foot-tall wind turbine on Moon Island, a project that is expected to provide power to as many as 800 Quincy and Boston homes.

The energy partnership is a first for the two cities, and has been in the works since April of last year.

Although the city of Boston owns Moon Island, its 44 acres are within Quincy city limits and are accessible only through Quincy. According to the release, the turbine is to be located in the northernmost tip of the Island, which is one mile from the closest Squantum home.

In addition to conducting public meetings, Quincy’s Planning Board will have to accept the project in April for the plans to come to fruition. Still, Quincy Chief of Staff Christopher Walker said public input has been optimistic thus far.

“[Feedback] has been very positive,” Walker said. “There were some concerns raised by neighbors at the first meeting, with largely 100 or so people there, but most were in support of the project…

“The concerns raised really related largely to the relationship of city of Boston and city of Quincy as it relates to Moon Island … and as we go forward, we’ll continue to talk about those issues,” he said.

Part of the relationship to work out is how the cities will split the $4.3 million cost and subsequent energy savings, a figure not yet calculated, Walker said.

“It was never the intention of the city to do an even split. It was our suggestion that we come up with a percentage split,” Walker said. “It’s their land, they own it. All things being equal, they would have proposed the project on its own. But we had talks with them and they were amenable to coming up with a partnership.”

The city of Boston is additionally looking for grants through the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust to mitigate some of the cost.

Other concerns include the visual, noise, and aviation effects of the turbine, which will all be discussed Thursday.

Thursday’s meeting is the second in a series of public meetings about the project to be conducted in coming weeks, and despite the work to be done, Quincy officials remain hopeful about the process.

“This project, being a partnership, has enabled us to open a dialogue that we’ve never had with the city,” Walker said. “The city is at the table listening to our concerns, and we’ll keep talking.”

The joint turbine is only one of the projects Quincy is doing to increase its energy efficiency. The city is also putting solar panels on the roof of Quincy High School, and the proposed Central Middle School construction lists a series of energy-efficient upgrades.

Walker said the turbine would most likely get going sometime this year, though there isn’t a set timeline.

The turbine public meeting will be on the second floor conference room of City Hall at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.

Source:  By Jessica Bartlett, Town Correspondent, www.boston.com 8 March 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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