WESTPORT – The Alternative Energy Committee has voted to drop its consideration of land next to the fire station as a possible site for a wind turbine, while agreeing to look into similar renewable energy efforts elsewhere.
The decision came by a unanimous vote after consultant Simon Thomas of Atlantic Design, LLC discussed the findings of a feasibility study his firm had conducted at the committee’s request.
That discussion came last week at the committee’s first meeting since a public hearing on the matter last month, during which petitions opposing the construction of a turbine near the fire station were submitted.
Objections to the proposed site – which had been picked by a previous incarnation of the committee – focused largely on the site’s proximity to a cemetery rather than any expressed objection to renewable energy.
Taking this into account, the committee decided to use the information gathered in studies so far to pursue the possibility of a wind turbine and/or solar farm, with focus on shifting the location to the town’s transfer station.
Committee member Ed Goldberg, who had expressed skepticism of the wind turbine project when wind energy advocate David Dionne chaired the committee, said he wanted the group’s focus to include both wind and solar power. Elaine Ostroff, a Planning Board member who has also been active on various other local committees, suggested the wording of the motion that the committee ultimately passed.
Chairman Antone Vieira, a selectman and former Finance Committee member who had also voiced opposition to the site near the fire station, said he was happy with the direction the committee had taken, noting that it seemed to satisfy all involved regardless of their positions on the issue.
The committee will meet again at 6 p.m. Dec. 19, when Atlantic Design’s final report is expected.