Bourne – Review of the New Generation Wind turbine plan for Buzzards Bay off Scenic Highway and Route 25 is at an apparent standstill at the Cape Cod Commission, which says the four-turbine complex would provide no economic benefit.
Town Planner Coreen Moore said the Commission subcommittee reviewing the controversial wind farm proposal of Tudor Ingersoll and Samuel Lorusso is a key aspect of Commission review, but she adds the point that the regional agency has no economic benefit standards to apply to the wind-farm plan.
“New Generation wanted the commission to review that aspect of its review,” Moore said. “They hoped for a different assessment. But they didn’t get it.”
Immediately after the subcommittee made its finding, New Generation spokesman Greg O’Brien issued a statement in which he said New Generation takes “strong exception” to the finding.
“NGW believes the subcommittee’s vote is wholly inconsistent with several stated objectives of the Commission’s Regional Policy Plan that clearly support development of renewable energy on Cape Cod.
“The Commission subcommittee’s vote reflects its willingness to elevate undocumented concerns and objections of the few over the significant benefits to be realized to the entire region from renewable energy projects such as that proposed by NGW. It is tragic and shortsighted that the subcommittee fails to recognize the benefits of this project as consistent with its own Regional Policy Plan. This is a misinterpretation of the Commission’s own standards.”
The New Generation proposal was instantly controversial in town. It prompted the Bourne Board of Health to draft and approve a turbine review regulation and led to the turbine review zoning bylaw being amended at a May 9 special Town Meeting.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office recently ruled that the amended bylaw was valid. But there is varying legal interpretation as to whether New Generation Wind plans would be reviewed under the terms of the amended bylaw or the original wording. The amendment in a de facto way bans industrial grade turbines anywhere in town.
If the wind farm plan does not pass muster at the Commission, it would not come back to planning board review. New Generation Wind, in the interim, has filed subdivision plans for its holdings in Buzzards Bay where turbines are also planned [ends]
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