I must respond to Mr. Funfar’s allegation that I said, “This state is too highly skewed toward wind power at any cost, and never mind some collateral damage.” I have no memory of talking to him. Regardless, I would never say the above because it is not true.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts supports the installation of wind turbines for the following reasons: they are the least expensive form of renewable energy; they create jobs and they reduce the burning of fossil fuel to generate electricity. The last element helps us reduce green-house gasses and gives us standing when we ask other states or the federal government to reduce greenhouse gasses to fight global warming. Falmouth has a good reason to do so.
Currently, much of Falmouth will be under water if a hurricane hits our shores at high tide. This will become even more of a problem as sea level increases due to climate change. For those who are skeptics, I suggest you read the book, “The Weather of the Future, Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet,” by Heidi Cullen, a well-regarded climatologist.
There are some who say the simple solution is to dismantle the wind turbines. But that solution is not so simple. Has anyone calculated how much new money it will cost to take down the wind turbines? Is it possible it could cost at least as much as it did to put them up? So if they are taken down, not only will we lose the initial investment for the two turbines and the money we get for each megawatt hour generated, but we will also lose the money it costs to take them down. Relocating them to another suitable area would cost even more. Of course, it is the taxpayers of Falmouth who would bear these costs and it would probably require a 2 1/2 override to cover the costs.
As the Enterprise has stated earlier, nobody in town or state government knew these turbines would disturb some people before they were installed but clearly, some people are distressed by the wind turbine noise. Perhaps there is another solution to be considered.
The town should consider making a reasonable offer to purchase the homes in the area and use the income stream from the wind turbines to cover the costs. Regrettably, that was one solution our board of selectmen chose not to explore. I know these homeowners did nothing to deserve this tremendous sacrifice I’m suggesting. However, they should be given this option. In recognition of their hardships, the town could consider giving them fair market value for their homes before the turbines were installed and perhaps pay for their moving costs. The homes should then be sold by the town with a disclaimer notifying potential buyers of the wind turbine noise.
Matthew C. Patrick
(former State Representative)
Collins Road, Waquoit
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