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Wind study for COMM nearing completion

Even as a wind survey for the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills water department is in its final stage, the renewable direction of the department is turning toward solar.

A wind study analyzing the feasibility of COMM’s Hayden wellfields for a single turbine is about 90 percent complete, with a sound study the remaining piece to be completed.

A 2008 preliminary survey indicated that that a single turbine of 1.5 megawatts could support all of the water department’s electricity needs, as well as those of the fire department, Water Superintendent Craig Crocker said.

Even so, the superintendent cast doubt on whether the board of water commissioners would move forward with anything at this point. Crocker said that he and the board have been watching with interest the various wind conversations and controversies across the Cape and said that his interests are turning to solar.

“I doubt they’re going to move forward with any of our money,” Crocker said.

Crocker said that the board of water commissioners heard a presentation on the results thus far at its June meeting. The $25,000 wind study was funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Renewable Energy Trust (RET), not from ratepayer funds.

The 2008 preliminary survey suggested that three of the district’s wellfields could support turbines of varying sizes. That report, available on the MTC website (masstech.org) concluded that the Hayden wellfields in Marstons Mills could support three 1.5 Mw turbines of nearly 400 feet in height based on land area, setbacks and aviation requirements; the Crooked Cartway wellfield north of Race Lane could support a single 100 kW turbine of 160 feet; and the Shootflying Hill Road tower could realistically support a single turbine of up to 100 kW in size, but proximity power lines and other restrictions could be problematic.

The current feasibility study is focusing only on the Hayden wellfields for a single turbine with an estimated output of 900kW.

Cape Cod Academy in Osterville also received funds for a feasibility study in the same 2009 grant round.