On April 20, the Assembly of Delegates passed the Cape Cod Commission’s minimum performance standards for land-based wind energy turbines on Cape Cod.
All wind turbines must adhere to a setback of 10 times the blade diameter of the proposed turbine from the nearest residentially zoned parcel, unless the applicant can demonstrate through a noise study the projected sound levels, including both ambient and infrasound, would result in minimal impacts to occupants within a reduced setback.
These standards are intended to preserve the character, unique environment, natural resources and the potential impacts of wind turbines on human health.
The Brewster wind project at Commerce Park, which the Brewster Board of Selectmen is seeking to permit “by right” (circumventing the Brewster Planning Board’s denial of the project) does not meet the commission’s setback guidelines. Since the special permit for the project was denied, and the selectmen did not appeal the project during the 20-day appeals period, the selectmen must initiate a new process. They would like their project to be exempt from the commission guidelines.
However, concerned citizens of Brewster feel strongly that the health and safety protections of the commission guidelines for the entire Cape must be applied in our town.