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Falmouth wind project breeds caution on Nantucket  

Credit:  By JASON GRAZIADEI, THE INQUIRER AND MIRROR, www.capecodonline.com 14 March 2011 ~~

NANTUCKET – Wary of what happened in Falmouth, Nantucket officials are slowing their own wind project.

The town’s consultant on the Madaket wind energy project advised the board last week to postpone seeking voter approval for the construction of two 900-kilowatt wind turbines.

“There are aspects that are critical and are in flux, and some of them will settle down within the next month or two,” said George Aronson, of Commonwealth Resource Management.

Planning for the $7.2 million wind energy project will remain on track, he said, and two other warrant articles related to the project that would allow turbines to be sited at the landfill and designate the area as a wind energy overlay district will still go before voters.

Falmouth is dealing with a public outcry over its 1.65-megawatt wind turbine. Selectmen recently agreed to shut down the turbine if winds are higher than 23 mph. Citing that experience, Nantucket selectmen seemed pleased to slow their own review process.

“There are issues going on in Falmouth that I’d love to see shake out there, so we can learn from their experience before we make the big leap,” Selectman Michael Kopko said.

The wind project was one of two capital items in the works for years that appeared to be headed for a vote at town meeting.

A $15 million expansion of the sewer system into Monomoy, a project intended to reduce nitrogen in Nantucket Harbor and bring new connections to the Surfside sewer plant, seemed to have broad consensus among the selectmen as recently as last week.

But selectmen Rick Atherton and Patty Roggeveen wanted more public input on funding before moving forward. The board seemed to reach an agreement last week on a plan that would impose betterment fees on Monomoy residents to recover two-thirds of the cost of the project, with the remaining funding coming from the tax base. But after hearing from residents over the past week, Atherton said it may be better to seek more community input.

Source:  By JASON GRAZIADEI, THE INQUIRER AND MIRROR, www.capecodonline.com 14 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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