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Wareham resident pans wind turbine project  

Credit:  By Frank Mulligan, Wicked Local Wareham, www.wickedlocal.com 18 March 2011 ~~

WAREHAM – Barry Cosgrove believes it’s high time the views of opponents to a proposal to develop six wind turbines on bog land in town, each totaling almost 500 feet in height, are aired.

The Blackmore Pond Circle property owner says glowing portrayals of the project in the media have been misleading, especially hints there is little opposition.

He is one of about 100 people involved in the group, Wareham Residents Opposed to Bog Wind, which was formed last summer, he said. The group also has ties to other anti-wind projects on the Cape, including Wellfleet’s Save Our Sea Shores.

He said he’s looking forward to seeing the opposition’s case brought before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Ironically, inclement weather postponed two prior scheduled ZBA meetings on the proposal to farm the wind for clean electrical power. The ZBA is now set to hear proponents and opponents Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall cafeteria.

According to developer Beaufort Windpower LLC’s proposal, the turbines could measure up to 328 in height, with another 166 feet tacked on for the blades, bringing the total to 494 feet from the ground at their highest extension.

That in itself is daunting, Cosgrove said. He said the average single-family home is about 19 feet in height, making the proposed turbines 26 times taller.

To put that in perspective, he said that would be equivalent to his 6-foot 5-inch frame alongside a 3-inch tall bottle of eyedrops.

But Beaufort Windpower President Glen Berkowitz has said the sites were selected because of their distance from residential areas.

Cosgrove says the locations for the turbines aren’t that remote. There are “upwards of 2,000 homes” within a mile and a quarter of the proposed locations, he said, and “hundreds within 3,300 feet.”

The turbines will generate up to 40,000 megawatts of organic energy each year, or enough to provide power to about two-thirds of the homes in Wareham, according to the proposal.

Cosgrove counters that the power provided will be more expensive to ratepayers.

The most attractive aspect to wind power to many is that it will provide clean, renewable energy.

Berkowitz has said Massachusetts produces less than 1 percent of its energy from wind power. “I believe we need more renewable energy.”

Berkowitz has also said his firm wants the turbines “to be compatible with the community’s interests.”

But Cosgrove disputes that, as well. “There’s nothing in it for the town,” he said, adding only the developers and bog owners stand to benefit.

Source:  By Frank Mulligan, Wicked Local Wareham, www.wickedlocal.com 18 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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