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Almeida wind turbine plan withdrawn; Potential litigation halts proposal

PLYMOUTH – Sergio Quadros of Cleanergie Clean Energy Architecture planned to transform a North Plymouth junkyard into a clean energy complex. But threats of legal action from an abutter may have ended one idealist’s hope of helping to make America’s Hometown a little greener.

Quadros has withdrawn plans to construct a 79-foot AES WindJet turbine at Almeida’s Used Cars and Parts at 20 Columbus Road. This so-called “squirrel cage” design would have generated 5 kilowatts of electricity and functioned as a display for customers interested in reducing their electric bills and doing the right thing by the environment.

But objections and concerns from WPLM radio station, located next door, caused Almeida’s owner Stephen Almeida to pull out from the project, Quadros said. WPLM’s attorney, John Wood, said his client would take action if the turbine caused any disturbance whatsoever, Quadros said. Technology would have been installed, he added, to prevent any possible jamming of the radio signal, but these assurances weren’t enough.

“I’m frustrated because many things were riding on this to provide a visible, tangible showcase,” Quadros said. “And if we cannot do this in a junkyard, where can you do it?”

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Wednesday night to deny the project without prejudice.

The board couldn’t simply vote to accept the request for withdrawal. ZBA member Ed Conroy warned that, legally speaking, the board can’t agree to withdraw a proposal once the hearing is open, and the board has to open the hearing if it has been advertised.

Quadros said he’s still working with Stephen Almeida on other projects, but may move his plans for a clean energy complex elsewhere.

“We are assessing the situation and whether to continue at the hill at all,” Quadros said. “I’ve suffered in terms of loss of credibility with my associates. All we will see here is the same junkyard. God save the junk and the fossil fuels.”