FALMOUTH – A town-owned turbine that has remained motionless for a year spun for the first time on Tuesday.
Officials did a brief test of Falmouth’s 1.65-megawatt Wind 2 turbine in preparation for a test in front of NStar officials who will decide whether the town can begin operating it, said Gerald Potomis, the town’s wastewater superintendent. He oversees both municipal wind turbines on Blacksmith Shop Road.
“Once we have everything ready, we’ll contact NStar,” Potamis said.
If the electrical utility gives its blessing to the town, the turbine can immediately begin spinning for a 60-day trial period.
Wind 1, the town’s other municipal turbine at the Falmouth’s wastewater treatment facility, was shut down in November by selectmen after months of complaints by abutters about negative health effects.
Once operational, Wind 2 is scheduled to spin for 30 days without restrictions.
After that, it will spin for another 30 days but will shut down when winds reach 23 mph or more.
Town officials will log complaints from abutting residents during the 60-day trial.
Residents can email complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the analysis is complete, both Wind 1 and Wind 2 will stay off until Falmouth’s town meeting in April. Wind 1 will occasionally go online so that experts hired by the state Department of Environmental Protection can study the turbine’s effects on people.
On Monday, selectmen announced they will employ Consensus Building Institute to head up efforts to gauge Falmouth residents’ opinions of what can be done to mitigate possible harm from the turbines, board of selectmen Chairwoman Mary Pat Flynn said.
The Cambridge firm will interview people from the community about mitigation options and eventually form a committee that will make recommendations to selectmen, she said.
Flynn said she expected it would take three weeks to form the committee and get their decision once the firm starts work.
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