BOURNE – New Generation Wind supporters outnumbered opponents Tuesday night during a Cape Cod Commission public hearing into controversial wind-farm plans off Scenic Highway and Route 25.
Commission member Peter Graham of Truro chairs the seven-member sub-committee review of New Generation plans that have been slightly revised since the first rounds of agency review.
Commission staff reviewers said they need more detailed information about the project as it relates to three areas of regional policy plan (RPP) compliance: economic benefits, hazardous materials and both cultural resources and community character.
Staffers at this point recommend that New Generation principals Tudor Ingersoll of Buzzards Bay and Sam Lorusso of Cape Cod Aggregates eliminate, relocate or reduce the height of three turbines that will have “significant visual impacts along Scenic Highway.
The staff report concludes that the wind farm “runs afoul of the historic character of the canal area and distinctive features of Bournedale village.” In addition, the project is proposed atop an area designated as a potential public water supply area.
New Generation attorney Diane Tillotson, however, said the community character standards of RPP review are overly subjective. She introduced pictures of massive public works projects over the years, including the canal and bridges construction as well as introduction of the high-tension electric lines through Bournedale.
“What we view today as a marvelous project, the canal, was at one time one of the most disruptive public works projects,” Tillotson told the commission, adding that the Mirant power plant, canal-side highways, high tension lines and railroad bed along Sandwich Road are not much to look at.
Susan Daniels of Bourndale, however, urged the commission to take a “humane” view of proposed turbine impacts, saying she does not want to see industrial grade turbines “outside my front door.”
Richard Conron of Gray Gables said the proposed wind farm would be “extremely damaging to the character of Bourne, adding that the commission “should help keep Bourne a special place on Cape Cod.”
His comments were embraced by his wife, former Selectwoman Judith Conron, and Suzanne Hebb of Buzzards Bay.
Mann family members of Head of the Bay, however, reminded the commission that owners of large tracts routinely allow their land to be used for progress; notably gas delivery and electric high-tension lines as well as abutting residential development. Why not harnessing renewable wind energy next, members said.
A New Generation energy consultant said power generated by the seven 495-foot turbines would be sold to a third party corporation that would in turn sell into the electricity delivery grid. New Generation, he said, is pursuing its sales options, adding that its output could generate electric power for 3,200 homes over one year’s time.
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