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Town turbine to be shut down

FALMOUTH – At last night’s Town Meeting, the Board of Selectmen announced they had voted unanimously on a plan to immediately shut down the municipally operated, 1.65-megawatt wind turbine known as Wind 1, which is located at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Selectmen Chair Mary Pat Flynn outlined the specifics of the plan, which would shut down Wind 1 until at least next spring’s Annual Town Meeting. It was a deal that would presumably placate the turbine’s abutters, who have long complained of adverse health effects as a result of having to live so close to the turbines.

In spite of the board’s decision to shut down Wind 1, which the Selectmen had made shortly before last night’s Town Meeting commenced, Flynn told voters that “we cannot lose sight of the strides we have made in the last ten years with regard to renewable energy.”

As for Wind 2, the soon-to-be-online turbine also located at the wastewater treatment plant, Flynn said it would be commissioned for at least two months in order to study its effects on abutters. It will also be subject to the same restrictions that had been placed on Wind 1—namely, that it would be shut off when wind speeds reached over 23 mph.

In contrast to Monday night’s Town Meeting, where residents and town officials debated for several hours over the fate of Article 9, a nonbinding article which would have given selectmen the option to shut down both of the town’s wind turbines, Tuesday night’s continuation of that debate took just over twenty minutes. After hearing the Selectmen’s new plan, residents voted to indefinitely postpone the article.