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Turbine II moves through approvals  

Credit:  By Sally Kuhn, GateHouse News Service, www.wickedlocal.com 14 December 2011 ~~

Ipswich – Wind Turbine II is almost a certainty.

The Electric Light Subcommittee has accepted D&C Construction’s latest price for the electricity the turbine would generate and the Planning Board unanimously approved a special permit to D&C to build the turbine.

All that remains for final approval is a Finance Committee discussion on the purchase power agreement and a Board of Selectman vote on the agreement.

Last week, the Selectmen voted unanimously to issue D&C a special permit to operate a turbine on town owned land at the end of Town Farm Road, next to the current, operating turbine.

A Triboard meeting with the Selectmen, Finance Committee and the School Committee was scheduled to convene on Tuesday night, Dec. 13. Electric Light Subcommittee member Jim Engel was expected to give a further explanation as to why the proposed price for the electricity is fair.

On Dec. 7, the Electric Light Subcommittee voted to accept D&C’s offer to sell electricity to the town for $116 per megawatt hour or 11.6 cents a kilowatt-hour for the next 10 years. For the second 10 years, it will charge $70 a megawatt hour, or 7 cents a kilowatt-hour. That averages to 9.3 cents a kilowatt-hour, which is less than the 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour Turbine I now charges.

The agreement matches the sub committee’s criteria that the price for power from Wind Turbine II be the same or lower than the cost of power generated by Turbine I and better than the price from wind projects in the Berkshires.

D&C Construction, of Rockland, proposes erecting a Hyundai HQ20 MV wind turbine near Wind Turbine I on town owned property on 180 Town Farm Road.

The 262-foot-tall wind turbine should provide about 4 percent of the town’s power needs. According to an Ipswich Utilities Department newsletter, Turbine I has exceeded expectations by 42 percent in October and 28 percent in November. December is usually the windiest month of the year.

On Dec. 8, the Planning Board, on a 5-0 vote, granted D&C a special permit with conditions to operate the turbine on 180 Town Farm Road.

Meridian Associates, the project’s engineer, modified the drainage plan asked for in a review by Cammett Engineering who does peer review for the Planning Board.

Permit conditions include a plan to monitor and report on bird and avian deaths caused by the turbine.

Noise level from Wind II is estimated to be within 1.5dBA and 7.6 dBA, no louder than the Mass. DEP regulation of 10 dBA. The turbine is 3,000 feet from the nearest residence. The DEP regulation clicks in only when a nuisance complaint against the noise has been lodged.

There is a 20-day appeal period after the permit is filed with Town Clerk. If an appeal is filed, then the process comes to a halt.

Source:  By Sally Kuhn, GateHouse News Service, www.wickedlocal.com 14 December 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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